Brussels, July 28, 2011 (FH) - Libyan Khaled Hemidi has filed a lawsuit before a Belgian civil court in Brussels accusing NATO of killing his wife and three children in an air strike on June 20.

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According to his lawyers, Marcel Ceccaldi and Ghislain Dubois, the bombing of Sorman, a locality at 70 kilometers from Tripoli, targeted Hemidi's father, a retired general who is still close to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

A drone was allegedly used for the attack which killed Khaled Hemidi's wife, his two daughters, aged four and five, and his three-year old son, the lawyers claimed.

"The action is based on civil wrong due to NATO's violation of the UN mandate, under Resolution 1973, which was aimed at protecting civilians," Dubois added.

The lawsuit was filed in a court in Brussels because NATO's headquarters are located in the Belgian capital. The first court hearing is due seven to ten days later, the lawyer said.

According to the Belgian daily Le Soir, Marcel Ceccaldi is also Gaddafi's lawyer. He had written to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in July, requesting the opening of an investigation into crimes allegedly committed by NATO in Libya.

So far, three international arrest warrants have been issued by the ICC for crimes against humanity against Muammar Gaddafi, one of his sons and the head of his Military Intelligence.

The Belgian Prosecution declared on Wednesday that it had dropped the case of Aisha Gaddafi, who filed a complaint in June against NATO for crimes of war after four members of her family had been killed by an air strike.

"The victims are not Belgian and the alleged perpetrators of the crimes, though they are living in Belgium, are protected by diplomatic immunity", a Prosecution spokesperson explained on Wednesday.


© Hirondelle News Agency