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Libya court indicts Gaddafi aides

04:04 Fri Oct 25 2013
AAP

A Libyan court has indicted around 30 Muammar Gaddafi aides, including the slain dictator's son Seif al-Islam, for a raft of alleged offences during the 2011 revolt, prosecutors said.

Thursday's indictments clear the way for what will be the most high-profile trial in the country's history, with defendants also including former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi and Gaddafi's last prime minister, Baghdadi al-Mahmudi.

"The court ordered they stand trial on the main charges against them dealing with the repression of the 2011 revolt," prosecutors' office spokesman Seddik al-Sour said after the hearing.

"The trial date will be set by the Tripoli criminal court," al-Sour told a press conference.

The charges pressed against the defendants include murder, kidnapping, complicity in incitement to rape, plunder, sabotage, embezzlement of public funds and acts harmful to national unity.

Only a dozen of the accused appeared in court, said a lawyer who was present at the hearing, held under tight security at a Tripoli court and prison building.

Al-Sour said the law did not require that the defendants all be in court to hear the indictment.

The fact that "some of the defendants would have needed exceptional security measures to appear, prompted the court to decide to notify them of its decision after the hearing".

"But the presence of all the accused will be obligatory at the trial hearings before the criminal court," al-Sour said.

At a pre-trial hearing in September, lawyers already pleaded not guilty to all the accusations levelled by the prosecution.

Gaddafi himself was captured and killed by rebels outside his home town of Sirte, after an eight-month revolt against his four-decade rule, backed by NATO air strikes.

The court had the authority to accept the charges sought by prosecutors, dismiss them or ask for more evidence.

It examined some 40,000 documents and 4,000 pages of interrogation transcripts in a process lasting several weeks.

Seif al-Islam did not appear at any of the three pre-trial hearings.

He is in the custody of a former rebel militia in the hill town of Zintan, southwest of the capital, where he was taken after his capture in November 2011.

He is still wanted for trial by the International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity connected with the uprising.

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