TRIPOLI - Libya is determined to try Muammar Gaddafi's feared intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi and its courts have the ability to do so fairly, the deputy justice minister said, as the North African country pressed Mauritania for his extradition.
Senussi, 62, the last major Gaddafi associate on the run after the dictator's overthrow and death in a popular revolt last year, was arrested in Mauritania after he arrived there late on Friday on a flight from Morocco.
Despite support from Interpol, Libya's interim government may get embroiled in a legal tussle with France and the International Criminal Court (ICC) over Senussi as they also want to take him into custody.
Senussi, who for decades inspired fear and hatred among many Libyans, is sought by the Hague-based ICC on charges of crimes against humanity over security force attacks on anti-Gaddafi protesters during the eight-month uprising. France is also seeking Senussi for his alleged role in the bombing of a UTA airliner over Niger in 1989, that killed 54 French nationals.
Deputy Justice Minister Khalifa Faraj Ashour said the former intelligence chief would be tried fairly in his home country. "Security is good, the courts are working fine in almost all of the country," he told Reuters. "Even if there is a security breach once in a while, we can deal with it."