Libya court orders civil trial for Gaddafi 'loyalists'

By REUTERS
February 22, 2012 17:34

 
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BENGHAZI - A Libyan military court ruled on Wednesday that 50 people accused of fighting for Muammar Gaddafi and helping a mass jail break by alleged supporters of the deposed leader should be freed and tried instead in a civilian court.

Defense lawyers welcomed the ruling, saying most of the accused were civilians and that the military court on a base in the eastern city of Benghazi was struggling to try the case.

"We feel this court is under pressure and... does not have the necessary judicial independence," said Saleh Omran, who represents 17 of the accused, denying that his clients were Gaddafi supporters.

"They helped the prisoners escape from jail because some of those held were their relatives and they were protecting them. It has nothing to do with Gaddafi's men," he said.

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