Ease of militia takeover of Tripoli airport raises questions

Libyan official says most groups are ‘responsible’

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Human rights groups also have called on Libya’s government to revoke a new law that makes punishable offenses of criticizing the revolution to topple Gadhafi and glorifying the late leader.

Gadhafi was killed by revolutionaries Oct. 20 in his hometown of Sirte, about 230 miles east of Tripoli. His son and one-time heir apparent, Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, is in the custody of an independent militia brigade in the western city of Zintan. The brigade had been reluctant to hand him over to the central authorities in Tripoli; however, Mr. Abushagur said they have changed their mind.

“The people of Zintan are willing to give Seif to the government. There is no question there,” he said.

The government is building a high-security prison in Tripoli to keep high-value detainees. The prison should be completed by the end of the month, when Seif al-Islam will be transferred to Tripoli for trial, Mr. Abushagur said.

Seif al-Islam is wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of committing crimes against humanity. But Libyan authorities are reluctant to hand him over to the court.

Mr. Abushagur said the trial must be in Libya because that’s where the crimes were committed.

A bomb exploded outside the U.S. Consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Wednesday. No casualties were reported.

The State Department has asked the Libyan government to step up security around U.S. facilities in the country.

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About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen

Ashish Kumar Sen

Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.

Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.


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