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Tunisia Frees Former Libyan PM, Denies NTC Extradition Request

Tunisia has freed former Libyan prime minister Mahmoudi and denied a request by the country's new government to extradite him for trial.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 10/27/2011, 1:07 PM

NTC rebels in Bani Walid
NTC rebels in Bani Walid
Screen Capture

Tunisia  has denied an extradition request by Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC), and instead chosen to free the country's former prime minister from prison.

Attorney Mabrouk Korchid told the Reuters news agency that a Tunisian court of appeals had decided Thursday to free his client in one of the highest-profile Qaddafi-associate cases in the country to date. The statement was later confirmed by a judicial source as well.

Former Libyan Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi fled to Tunisia when the rebel forces captured former dictator Muammar Qaddafi's compound and the Libyan capital of Tripoli in August. He had only served in the office since March and was involved in the talks with the United Nations, which had tried to broker a ceasefire between Qaddafi and the opposition forces. Mahmoud led a number of attempts to negotiate agreements, including at least one that was "unconditional," without the Libyan dictator.

Last month Mahmoudi was arrested with two of his aides in the southern town of Tameghza, near the country's border with Algeria.

He and his aides were jailed for illegally entering the country on charges of not having visas, and sentenced to six months in prison. That sentence was overturned by the court of appeals.