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.

 

5 killed in string of suicide bombings in Lebanon

Netanyahu lauds Israel’s deal with Turkey

Erdogan apologises to Putin over downing of Russia jet

One year on, Tunisia holds minute silence for beach massacre victims

Iran cracks down on ‘Western culture’ of canine ownership

Bahrain jails 5 people on charges linked to ‘terrorism’

Clashes continue at Al-Aqsa compound

Turkey allows German minister visit after air base row

UN chief tells Israelis, Palestinians 'stand firm against violence'

Brexit vote unlikely to curtail Gulf appetite for London property

Egypt cancels high school final exam after online leaks

Dozens killed as clashes intensify in Yemen

Sarraj says only united military can defeat ISIS in Libya

Jordan court charges 21 people with 'terrorism'

Iraq forces take ISIS last positions in Fallujah

Iran conceals heated military standoff in Kurdish region

Brexit vote lays bare depth of division across Britain

Young Britons vent anger at grey Brexit vote

Russia planes pound Aleppo as Syria regime forces closes in

Car bomb kills four civilians in Libya's Benghazi

US-backed Syria fighters edge further into ISIS border hub

Tunisia flaunts seaside security to bring back tourists

Britain and EU: A fraught divorce

Libya govt. forces repel ISIS counterattack in Sirte

Oil slides on British referendum result

Crashed EgyptAir black boxes to go to France for repairs

5,000 migrants rescued from rubber dinghies in Mediterranean

Britain votes to break away from EU, PM resigns

Turkey acquits British academic over 'terror propaganda' charges

24 jailed in Bahrain for forming IS cell

Iraq commander says forces control over 80% of Fallujah

Israel sentences 4 Palestinians to life

Turkey in new quest to patch up with regional foes

Defiant Bahrain moves to dissolve opposition bloc

Kurdish-Arab forces push into IS Syria bastion of Manbij

Yemen govt says rebels must withdraw before any transition

Turkey confirms new accession talks with EU

Saudi suspect found dead after gunfight in Shiite town

Suspended Kuwait sues IOC for damages

Erdogan lashes out at EU treatment of Turkey

UN Chief, Saudi prince discuss situation in Yemen

Turkey blocks visit of German delegation to Incirlik air base

Trump goes on blistering offensive against Clinton

EU negotiators endorse new border force proposal

Head of EU parliament hopes to arrange meeting of Israeli, Palestinian leaders