Kadhafi ex-spy chief charged in Mauritania over false papers
5/21/2012 7:40:16 PM -
NOUAKCHOTT (AFP) - A Mauritanian court has charged Moamer Kadhafi's ex-spy chief, arrested two months ago and the subject of several handover demands, with illegally entering the country, an official said Monday.
Abdullah al-Senussi, feared former right hand man of the slain Libyan leader, was charged overnight for using false travel documents to illegally enter Mauritania on March 16 on a flight from Casablanca.
"He was charged and put in prison, in a cell specially prepared ahead of the trial, whose date has yet to be set," a judicial source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Senussi had been in custody since his arrest at the Nouakchott airport, which prompted several requests for extradition from France, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Spain and the International Criminal Court.
On June 27, 2011, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Senussi saying he was an "indirect perpetrator of crimes against humanity, of murder and persecution based on political grounds" in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.
Benghazi was the birthplace of a revolt that started in February 2011 and eventually put an end to more than four decades of dictatorship in Libya and led to the death of Kadhafi and arrest of several of his allies.
Senussi is the target of another international arrest warrant after a Paris court sentenced him in absentia to life imprisonment for involvement in the downing of a French UTA airliner over Niger in September 1989.
The plane was carrying 170 people from Brazzaville to Paris via N'Djamena.
That attack -- along with the bombing of a Pan Am jumbo jet over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988 in which 270 people were killed -- led to a UN-mandated air blockade of Libya in 1992.
In March a source close to the case said: "Nouakchott is not in a hurry, in this case all the norms and procedures must be respected. Mauritania will take its time."