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Tunisia Seeks Fair Trial for Former Libyan PM

Tunisia’s president: We'll extradite former Libyan Prime Minister al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi if he is guaranteed a fair trial.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 1/3/2012, 7:56 AM

Tunisia’s president said on Monday his country would extradite former Libyan Prime Minister al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi if he is guaranteed a fair trial.

According to a report on BBC News, Moncef Marzouki said on a visit to Tripoli that it was Libya's “right to judge” its former prime minister.

Mahmoudi fled to Tunisia when former Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi's compound was captured in the fall of Tripoli. He was subsequently arrested together with two of his aides in the southern town of Tameghza, near the Tunisian border with Algeria.

All three were convicted on charges of illegally entering the country without visas, and sentenced to six months in jail by the Tunisian government.

A court of appeals later ordered that Mahmoudi be freed, but that decision was later reversed, and the court instead approved a request by the National Transitional Council (NTC), for the extradition of the country's former leader.

The BBC quoted Marzouki as having said in Tripoli that Tunisia wanted to “make sure 1,000 percent that there is a fair trial, and that there’s an independent judiciary” before returning Mahmoudi to Libya.

“I am confident that this equation will happen,” Marzouki told a gathering of non-governmental organizations, “meaning that you will guarantee for us a fair and impartial trial in Tripoli and we guarantee your rights to receive this person.”