[JURIST] Saadi Gaddafi, son of former Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive] was extradited [press release, in Arabic] from Niger back to Libya Thursday to stand trial for crimes allegedly committed during his father’s rule. Saadi is the most recent fugitive whom the Libyan government has extradited from Niger. In February Abdallah Mansur, a former top intelligence official and fifteen other former Libyan officials were sent back [BBC report] to Libya after Niger accused them of plotting to overthrow the current Libyan government. In 2011 Interpol [official website] issued [press release] a “red notice,” requiring member countries to arrest him. Niger had previously declined [Al Jazeera report] to extradite Saadi due to concerns that he would be executed upon return.
Questions about the rule of law in Libya have arisen in the wake of the the 2011 uprising [JURIST backgrounder] and subsequent civil war that deposed Col. Gaddafi. Last month a spokesperson for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] warned against [JURIST report] recent amendments to Libya’s penal code. Law No. 5 of 2014 imposes prison sentences on any individual “undermining the February 17 revolution” and for “publicly insulting one of the legislative, executive or judicial authorities.”In February Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] reported [JURIST report] that Libya has failed to grant due process rights to Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and other detained former government officials. Gaddafi and former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi have also faced charges of crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. In October the ICC ruled [decision, PDF] that the case against al-Senussi is inadmissible before the ICC [press release] and can only be heard by domestic courts in Libya, but noted that the decision did not affect the issue with regards to the charges against Gaddafi. Back in 2011 Saadi was implicated [JURIST report] in a plot to flee to Mexico by the Secretary of the Interior [official website, in Spanish].