World Bulletin / News Desk
The trial of Muammar Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam will be delayed by five months to include any relevant testimony obtained via the interrogation of Libya's former spy chief who was arrested last week, the prosecutor general office said on Sunday.
Government officials said in August Saif al-Islam's trial on charges of war crimes - the most high-profile prosecution of a figure from his late father's entourage to date - was due to begin in September.
But the arrest on Wednesday of Abdullah al-Senussi, the former spy chief known as "Gaddafi's black box", has pushed that date back, postponing a trial a lawyer from the International Criminal Court (ICC) has already said is unlikely to be fair.
"We were ready to try Saif al-Islam this month but after bringing back Senussi to Libya, new information will come to light which will delay the trial for at least five months," Milad al-Zintani, lawyer at the prosecutor general's office, told a news conference.
Senussi was handed over to Libya by Mauritanian authorities on Wednesday after being captured in the West African state in March, triggering a tug of war between Libya, France and the ICC for his extradition.
The announcement from the prosecutor general's office comes amid criticism of the trials of other former Gaddafi officials by the Libyan Council on Freedom and Human Rights.
"The law usually supports justice, but we are now facing an exceptional justice system which lacks the basis of a fair trial," Mohammed al-Alagy, a former interim justice minister who now heads the human rights council, told reporters.
Without naming any specific cases, he said trials were being ordered while bypassing necessary legal steps to ensure suspects are treated fairly.
So far, former spy chief Buzeid Dorda has appeared in the dock, and on Monday former foreign minister Abdel-Ati al-Obeidi and former secretary general of the General People's Congress Mohammed Zwai will stand trial.
Libya's new rulers, who aim to draw up a democratic constitution, are keen to try Gaddafi's family members and loyalists at home to show the country's citizens that those who helped Gaddafi stay in power for 42 years are being punished.
Human rights activists worry a weak central government and a relative lack of rule of law mean legal proceedings - both for Senussi and for Saif al-Islam - will not meet international standards.
On Wednesday, rights groups called on Libya's government to hand over Senussi to the ICC where an arrest warrant for him remains in force.
In July, a war crimes lawyer who was detained in Libya for three weeks on spying allegations said her experience had shown it was impossible for Saif al-Islam to get a fair trial in his home country
According to senator from Crimea in Federal Council, the situation in Crimea is neither blackout nor economic blockade, but the aftermath of a terror act, in which Turkey is involved
Kremlin spokesman says information will be used to fight terrorism, not prove claims on oil trade
'We welcome the commitment to a structured and more frequent high-level dialogue between EU and Turkey,' UN spokesman says
Fierce fighting between UN peacekeepers and Ugandan rebels raged in the restive east of the Democratic Republic of Congo
The meeting comes after a Russian warplane was downed for violating Turkey’s airspace on Nov. 24
One of the terrorists who attacked the Bataclan concert hall in Paris last month had a French gun licence, and trained at the same location as the national police, reports suggest
'I want to be very clear: Turkey is a NATO ally. The U.S. supports Turkish rights to defend itself and its airspace and its territory,' US President says
Manuel Valls calls on tourists not to be afraid and come visit Paris
'We understand Turkey's actions are aimed at protecting its airspace,' Lithuanian president’s foreign policy adviser says
Latest incident, condemned by the EU's office in Kosovo, comes ahead of the first visit to Pristina by US Secretary of State John Kerry
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet agreed on Tuesday on plans to join the military campaign against ISIL in Syria, a government official said.
Two French citizens have been arrested as they attempt to join ISIL in Libya.
Offer to join is expected to come after a meeting of foreign ministers from the 28-nation alliance in Brussels
Ayman Odeh, the chairman of the Knesset's joint Arab list, will travel to Washington to talk with civil rights leaders and will also be a guest of honor at event hosted by American Jewish billionaire S. Daniel Abraham.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed to expel Palestinian families of fighters and demolish their family home.
Prime minister ends weeks of speculation by announcing parliamentary vote on strikes against ISIL in Syria