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Libya Congress to vote on ban of Gaddafi regime officials from new administration

Libya's General National Congress (GNC) [official website, in Arabic] met Sunday to vote on a draft law [PDF, in Arabic] that could ban anyone who worked for Muammar Gaddafi [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive], including Libya's Prime Minister, Ali Zeidan [official website, in Arabic], from holding a position in Libya's current administration. If voted into effect, it would cover anyone who held an official position from Gaddafi's first day in power in September 1969 through October 23, 2011, and would be valid for five years. Zeidan, the leader of the congress, his deputy, and around 40 other members could be barred from the current administration if the draft passes. Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] criticized the law [press release] and urged the GNC to vote down the latest draft, saying that the "provisions and procedures for exclusion are too sweeping and vague" and that "a recent amendment to the provisional constitution would prohibit judicial review of the law." The Libyan Congress has deliberated the bill for months and a vote is expected [Reuters report] this afternoon.

Libya has attempted other sanctions for those related to the Gaddafi regime, such as Libya's ongoing attempt to try Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, and former Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi [BBC profiles], rather than turn them over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. On Thursday, Saif al-Islam made a second court appearance [JURIST report] in Zintan, Libya, but the court postponed further proceedings until mid-September in order to allow for adequate trial preparation. In April, HRW reported that Al-Senussi had been unable to speak with a lawyer or told what charges he faces during his eight-month detention, despite February's order from the ICC [JURIST reports] to Libyan officials to hand over al-Senussi so that he could meet with a lawyer. In January the ICC asked Libya to address reports [JURIST report] that it planned to try Saif al-Islam and al-Senussi. Last 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. Last June four ICC staff members who traveled to Libya to speak with Saif al-Islam were detained by Libyan security forces [JURIST report] and were in custody for nearly four weeks before being released. The ICC issued arrest warrants for both men in June 2011.

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