Thursday, May 26

General Khalifa Haftar sentenced to death by a Libyan military court

Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who leads forces loyal to the authorities based in eastern Libya.

Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who leads forces loyal to the authorities based in eastern Libya.
Egyptian Presidency/dpa

A military court of Libya has sentenced General Khalifa Haftar to death, an ally of the authorities settled in the east of the country, for the bombings of an Air Defense School in the city of Misrata, which affects the electoral process of the country, since the marshal is a candidate for the presidential elections to be held The 24th of December. This court of Misrata has judged in absentia and has sentenced other commanders with the same penalty Haftar’s allies, such as Abdelrazik al Nathori, Saqr al Jerushi or Abdelsalam al Hassi, who, together with the general, are deprived of their civil rights and released from military service.

On the other hand, the entity has asked the Criminal Investigation Agency to execute a prior order to detain Haftar for five cases and acts that violated military laws between 2019 and 2020, reports the Libyan daily ‘Libya Observer’. In this regard, he has regretted that since the general’s presidential candidacy has been accepted, the law indicates that he can only be subject to a maximum of “five years in prison.” The Military Prosecutor’s Office had already asked the Electoral Commission to provisionally suspend the admission procedure for the candidacies of Haftar and Saif Al Islam Gaddafi, son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, until they are questioned about the cases against him.

Haftar is being investigated by a court in the US state of Virginia – he has dual US citizenship – also in relation to the commission of war crimes during the fighting between his forces and the Government of Tripoli recognized by the international community. In the electoral context, the commission announced on Wednesday that Saif al Islam, one of the main candidates and accused of war crimes, was disqualified from the electoral contest for not meeting the criteria, although he has appealed the decision. Gaddafi’s eldest son, who was considered in the past as a possible benchmark for change in the country, was sentenced to death in July 2015, after being tried in absentia, since he was detained in the town of Zintan in the hands of a group of militiamen who refused to hand him over to the Libyan authorities. In addition, he was convicted of war crimes committed during the 2011 revolt that ended the regime of Gaddafi, who was killed by rebel militiamen in Sirte on October 20 of that year. Saif al Islam is also wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity. However, he was finally released in April 2016 as part of an amnesty granted by the government based in the east of the country during the conflict that followed the death of the satrap.

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Libya has had a unity government since March After a process of talks to unify the opposing administrations, after the authorities based in Tripoli, internationally recognized, last year repelled the offensive launched in 2019 by Haftar, loyal to the eastern authorities. The new Executive has among its main objectives the organization of legislative and presidential elections, scheduled for December 24, with which it is expected to put a lid on the institutional crisis that opened in 2014 and the instability that it has suffered since the capture and execution in October of Gaddafi 2011.

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