First Published: 2013-01-14

 

Libyan court adjourns trial of Mahmudi on defense request

 

Defence lawyers ask for delay to allow time to summon witnesses as judge demands that all witnesses testify in single hearing.

 

Middle East Online

One of few remaining keepers of state secrets of Gathafi's regime

TRIPOLI - A Libyan court Monday adjourned to February 11 the trial of Moamer Gathafi's last premier Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmudi, accused of killing civilians and financial crimes.

Defence lawyers had asked for the delay to allow time to summon witnesses and the judge demanded that all witnesses testify in a single hearing.

"We have two witnesses in custody, Mohamed Abubakar Dhib and Abdelati al-Obeidi, who have been informed by the prosecution. We have other witnesses outside that we could not inform in time," a defence lawyer said.

Dhib was a deputy premier and Obeidi a foreign minister during Gathafi's rule.

Along with Seif al-Islam, the toppled leader's most prominent son, Mahmudi is one of the few remaining keepers of the many state secrets of Gathafi's regime.

A doctor by training, Mahmudi was loyal to Gathafi until the end, serving as premier from 2006 up to the final days of his regime, while also overseeing vast fortunes in the oil-rich nation.

Mahmudi fled to neighbouring Tunisia in September 2011 shortly after rebels seized Tripoli and effectively put an end to more than four decades of iron-fisted Gathafi rule.

He was extradited to Libya on June 24 last year, despite warnings from human rights groups that he could face the death penalty, and has protested his innocence to journalists visiting his prison.

"I am not guilty, not guilty, not guilty," he said at the time.

On Monday, he appeared in the dock, dressed in traditional Libyan costume.

He was flanked by two co-defendants, Al-Mabruk Zahmul and Amer Salah Tirfas, who managed a trade and investment company run by Seif al-Islam.

The three are accused of "abusing public funds" and committing acts aiming to "unjustly kill people" during the 2011 uprising that led to Gathafi's ouster and death.

They allegedly funnelled 19 million euros ($25 million) to private accounts in Tunisia, and used it for logistical support to loyalist forces as they sought to crush the anti-Gathafi revolt.

Zahmul's lawyer presented four witnesses on Monday, including a former officer under Gathafi.

Monday's testimony sought to establish whether Zahmul, in charge of marketing at a state oil company, Brega Petroleum Marketing Company (BPMC), ordered the supply of oil and gas to pro-Gathafi units during the war.

His defence sought to prove he made no direct orders to that effect.

 

Iraq’s peshmerga ‘break’ Mount Sinjar siege

Yemen’s Huthis seize Sanaa state offices

Tough times for oil-rich GCC

Obama concerned about Egypt mass trials

Tumbling oil prices cut budgets of Mideast arms exporters

Turkey acquits sociologist over 1998 explosion

EU foreign affairs head to visit Iraq

Turkey court remands Samanyolu TV chief in custody

IS threatens to kill Lebanese soldiers held hostage

Turkish media chiefs charged with terrorism

Iraq may delay payment of Kuwait war reparations

Over $900 million needed to help Syria children

Saudi rules out oil output reduction

Dutch populist lawmaker to be tried for 'fewer Moroccans' vow

Outrage in Algeria over Islamist call for Algerian author's death

Iraq Kurds, coalition launch offensive to retake Sinjar

Three years to end Israeli occupation in UN resolution

Somalia appoints new PM after bitter infighting

Blow to Israel: EU court removes Hamas from terror blacklist

Sharp rise in Syria passport applications

Turkey FM visit to Iran highlights Syria divide

UK troops mistreated Iraq detainees in 2004

Saudi to carry on massive public spending

Iran to Australia: We warned you about the gunman

From bikini to Jihad in Ceuta, Melilla

Tunisia votes Sunday in second round of presidential poll

Islamist militias launch air strike near key Libyan oil terminals

Egypt refers 312 Islamists to military courts

Turkey rejects EU criticism over media arrests

Kerry meets chief Palestinian negotiator

Saudi cleric sparks uproar for showing wife’s face

15,000 march against country’s ‘Islamisation’ in eastern Germany

Key oil producers face uncertain outlook in 2015

Gulf stock markets tumble

Australia mourns Sydney cafe siege victims

Hostages flee as police storm Sydney café

Erdogan to EU: Mind your own business!

Syria PM in Iran for talks with key ally

22 Swiss jihadists fighting abroad

#illridewithyou: Australians stand in solidarity with Muslims

Sydney siege 'lone wolf' or IS-led attack?

EU support UN efforts for Aleppo ceasefire

Saudi policeman killed in Riyadh hostage-taking

Saudi king receives Jordan monarch

Palestinians push UN bid to end Israeli occupation