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Libya court begins trial of Gaddafi era officials

The trial of 40 former Libyan officials began Thursday in al-Zawiya. The charges include [Xinhua report] inciting the killing of protesters during the revolution, wasting public funds, embezzlement and abuse of power. The defendants committed these crimes as part of the former Gaddafi regime during the uprising [JURIST backgrounder] in 2011. The date of the hearing has been postponed to April 11 to allow the parties to prepare.

This is the latest in the process of prosecuting those responsible for the crimes committed by the Gaddafi regime following the uprising in Libya. Last month the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] called on Libya [JURIST report] to extradite former Gaddafi intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi [BBC profile]. In January the ICC asked Libya to address reports [JURIST report] that it planned to try Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and al-Senussi in domestic courts. In October Libyan government lawyers urged the ICC [JURIST report] to allow the men to be tried in Libya and promised that the trial would be fair. In August Saif al-Islam stated that he preferred to be tried by the ICC [JURIST report] out of fear that Libya would not try him fairly.

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