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Libya ex-PM Mahmoudi extradition from Tunisia 'illegal'

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    Libya ex-PM Mahmoudi extradition from Tunisia 'illegal'

    Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has said that his country's extradition of Libya's former Prime Minister al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi was "illegal".

    Mr Mahmoudi, 70, had fled to Tunisia during the uprising against Col Muammar Gaddafi last year.

    Mr Marzouki's office said in a statement that the decision to extradite Mr Mahmoudi was taken without consultation and without his agreement.

    Mr Mahmoudi is the first senior Libyan official to be returned for trial.

    Mr Marzouki had promised earlier this year to hand over Mr Mahmoudi if he were guaranteed a fair trial in Libya, but in May he said he was in principle opposed to the move.

    Human rights groups had asked Tunisia not to extradite him, saying he could be subject to human rights violations in Libya.

    Trial concerns

    A Tunisian government statement said the extradition did not require the president's signature.

    It said the decision to extradite had been made following a report by a Tunisian delegation to Tripoli, which found that the conditions for a fair judicial process had been met.

    However, the statement from Mr Marzouki's office insisted that the decision affected foreign policy, which is "within the purview of the president of the republic".

    The extradition "threatens the image of Tunisia in the world, making it appear like a state which is not committed to... respecting the elements of a fair trial," the statement went on.

    Mr Mahmoudi was transferred by helicopter on Sunday.

    He had served as prime minister from March 2006 but fled Libya when Col Gaddafi's forces lost control of Tripoli and was arrested in Tunisia in September for illegal entry.

    A sentence of six months' imprisonment for that offence was overturned on appeal, but Mr Mahmoudi had remained in Tunisian custody following the extradition request from Libya.

    Mr Mahmoudi's lawyers have expressed fears for his life, saying he now has sole knowledge of many of the state secrets from Gaddafi's time in power.

    Libya's new government has pledged to treat all detainees fairly.
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    India hopes that the Tunisian government can settle an agreement with Mr Mahmoudi to prevent this crisis from escalating.
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    Yemen hopes that this matter can be resolved as diplomatically as possible.
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    Australia seconds Yemens views.
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    As stated in the article, the Libyan government has pledged to treat all detainees fairly. We hope that our ally Tunisia will work with us to enable us to put those associated with Gaddafi's crimes on trial.
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    The MHoC hopes that the two states can work together to solve this issue. We believe that any trial is a matter for the Libyan people to decide.
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    Mauritania wishes to make it clear that this is a trial to be taken in Libya for Libyans and is glad to hear that the correct process has occurred.

    But would of recommended to Tunisia that the extradition took place after Libya had decided on its new government and once it had gained stability. Mauritania fears that with instability still a problem in Libya that any trial should be put on hold.


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Updated: July 2, 2012
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