A Tunisian appellate court ruled Tuesday that a Libyan senior official who served under Muammar Gaddafi [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive] should be extradited back to Libya. Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], Gaddafi's former prime minister, was ordered to be extradited following his conviction [BBC report] in September for illegally entering Tunisia. Mahmoudi's lawyer, Mabrouk Kourchid, complained [AFP report] that the Tunisian court gave no explanation for its decision to extradite his client, and that Mahmoudi fears for his life as the sole keeper of state secrets since Gaddafi's death [JURIST report] in October 20. Several members of the Gaddafi regime, including three of his sons, remain at large [Reuters report] and are wanted for trial in Libya.
Mahmoudi's extradition is the latest legal episode in an ongoing effort by Libyan and international courts to investigate officials in Gaddafi's government [JURIST report]. In June, the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] issued arrest warrants [decision, PDF; JURIST report] for Gaddafi, as well as two high-ranking officials in his regime, for crimes against humanity. ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official website] declared before the Pre-Trial Chamber that his office had obtained direct evidence [JURIST report] that shows Gaddafi personally ordered attacks on civilian protesters and that his army used live ammunition on crowds, fired at people in funeral processions, and placed snipers to shoot people leaving mosques after prayer services. Earlier in June, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] decided to extend its investigation [JURIST report] of human rights abuses in Libya. In a 92-page report [text, PDF], the UNHRC declared that Gaddafi's regime committed murder, rape, torture, and forced disappearance "as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population with knowledge of the attack."