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 operation to liberate Anbar faces barrage of criticism

Coalition raids target headquarters of rebel troops in Yemen capital

Libya PM survives assassination attempt

EU calls for resumption of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks

Arrest of several FIFA leaders as part of twin corruption inquiry

Fast pace of executions in Saudi Arabia 'very disturbing'

Tunisia begins hearings into ex-regime's rights abuses

‘Islamic State’ executes 20 men in ruins of Syria ancient city

Saudi Arabia announces sanctions against two Hezbollah leaders

Libya to fight aggression with 'strength'

Iran says nuclear talks could go beyond deadline

Hamas accused of committing war crimes against civilians

German court rejects Yemenis' case over US drone killings

Kuwait emir urges Muslim states to fight extremism

NY Times journalist has Turkish citizenship revoked

Military site inspections necessary to Iran deal

Iraqi forces on outskirts of Ramadi

Syrian refugees ignored at Turkey poll campaign

Director 'shocked' at Morocco’s prostitution film ban

US criticises Shiite name of Iraqi military operation

Israel warplanes strike Gaza after rocket attack

Pro-government fighters retake Yemen city from Shiite rebels

Libya militias trap civilians in Benghazi

EU border agency plans to expand migrant rescue operation

Syria state TV blames ‘foreign enemies’ for signal jamming

Palestinians and jihadists clash in Yarmouk

Iraq refugees forced back into conflict zones

Kuwait restores Islamist lawmaker's citizenship

Washington Post reporter goes on trial behind closed doors in Iran

Iraq launches operation to drive ‘Islamic State’ from Anbar

New airport in restive eastern Turkey

Iran ‘thwarts’ US cyber attack on Oil Ministry’

Egypt opens border crossing with Gaza for 48 hours

Litany of problems keep Iraqi army weak and ineffective

Rouhani: most Iranians favour peace

Iran Foreign Minister discusses Yemen conflict in neutral Oman

Palestinians dismiss Netanyahu initiative

Three Moroccans jailed for homosexuality

Oxfam: 16 million Yemenis have no access to clean water

US, Iraq at loggerheads over Ramadi

Soldier kills comrades in Tunisia barracks shooting

Netanyahu names rightist ally as new Foreign Ministry chief

Iraq rejects US criticism of security forces over defeat in Ramadi

Hezbollah captures hilltops from Qaeda wing in Syria

Saudi Shiites hold mass funeral for victims of mosque bombing