The Hague, March 16, 2012 (FH) - It will be the role of Mauritanian justice to decide where to extradite Colonel Abdullah Al-Senoussi. Former Libyan Intelligence chief was arrested at Nouakchott airport Friday night upon arrival from Casablanca, carrying a fake Malian passport.

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an international arrest warrant against him on June 27, 2011, for crimes against humanity. According to the ICC’s arrest warrant, al-Senoussi was the Head of “one of the most powerful and efficient organs of repression of Gaddafi’s regime”. He “used his powers over the military forces, commanded the forces in Benghazi and directly instructed the troops to attack civilians demonstrating in the city”.


France and Libya both declared they want to prosecute him.


Senoussi is the subject of an international arrest warrant issued by France in 1999 after a Paris court sentenced him in absentia to life imprisonment for involvement in the bombing of a UTA flight over Niger in 1989, in which 170 people died including 54 French citizens.


"Our courts are very good, even excellent, especially in Tripoli, and we are able to carry out his trial according to international standards," the Libyan justice minister Ali Hmeida Ashur declared on Sunday. In Libya, al-Senoussi is also charged for “fraud offences including embezzling public funds and misuse of power”. A Libyan delegation is expected to arrive in Nouakchott this week.


Mauritania has not ratified the Rome Treaty, thus has no obligation to cooperate with the ICC.