Libya senior judge assassinated outside courthouse

[JURIST] Senior Libyan Judge Mohammed Naguib was assassinated Sunday by an unidentified gunman outside of the courthouse in Derna. Chairman of the Court of Cassation in Green Mountain province Judge Abdel-Aziz Mustafa al-Trabelsi confirmed [LANA report; in Arabic] that his colleague was killed outright in the drive-by attack. This attack is the latest of an increasing number of threats and attacks on the judiciary in Derna, a city known to be an Islamic stronghold and which houses extremist Salafist militias such as Ansar al-Shariah, the group that claimed responsibility for the 2012 raid of the US Embassy in Benghazi. In March, a lower court building was damaged [Libya Herald report] by a bomb blast, however no one was injured in that attack.

Libya is still recovering from the 2011 conflict [JURIST backgrounder] that toppled the regime of Muammar Gaddafi [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive]. Earlier this month the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]rejected [JURIST report] a challenge by the Libyan government attempting to attain jurisdiction over Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi [BBC profile]. In April Libya's national assembly criminalized [JURIST report] torture and kidnapping in an attempt to rein in the country's armed militias. In March Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged [JURIST report] the Libya government to ensure the protection of civilians. Also in March the trial [JURIST report] of 40 former Libyan officials began earlier in al-Zawiya. The charges included inciting the killing of protesters during the revolution, wasting public funds, embezzlement and abuse of power. In February the ICC called on Libya [JURIST report] to extradite former Gaddafi intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi [BBC profile].

 

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