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Libya trial: Gaddafi son sentenced to death over war crimes

A court in Libya has sentenced Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of deposed leader Col Muammar Gaddafi, and eight others to death over war crimes linked to the 2011 revolution.

More than 30 close associates of Col Gaddafi were tried for suppressing peaceful protests during the uprising.

Saif al-Islam was not present in court and gave evidence via video link.

He is being held by a former rebel group from the town of Zintan that refuses to hand him over.

Former head of intelligence for the Gaddafi regime, Abdullah al-Senussi, is among those also facing death by firing squad, as is former PM Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi.

Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi, former prime minister of Libya, arrives for a hearing at a courtroom in Tripoli on 19 September 2013
The court also ordered the execution of former PM Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi
Screen grab from Libya courtroom feed on 28 July, 2015
Only 29 of the defendants were in court for sentencing

Saif al-Islam is also wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Prosecutors say that he was part of his father’s plans to “quell, by all means, the civilian demonstrations against the Gaddafi regime”.

Murder and kidnap

Saif al-Islam will be given the right to appeal against the death sentence, according to the BBC’s John Simpson, who is in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

The trial, which opened last year, has been dogged by criticism from human rights agencies, who are concerned about the fairness of Libya’s judicial system.

Eight other ex-officials received life sentences and seven were given jail terms of 12 years each, said chief investigator Sadiq al-Sur. Four were acquitted.

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The defendants were accused of incitement to violence and murdering protesters during the uprising that eventually toppled Col Gaddafi.

Since his death Libya has been plagued by instability, and currently has no single government.

Instead two warring factions each claim to run the country. An internationally recognised parliament is based in Tobruk, while Tripoli is held by rivals Libya Dawn.

Saif al-Islam has been held in the mountainous town of Zintan since the end of the war, by rebels who are allied to the Tobruk-based government.


Libya’s rival power bases



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