Gaddafi minister sentenced to death
Published 31/07/2013 | 20:01
A criminal court in Libya has sentenced a Gaddafi-era education minister to death for murder and for inciting violence during the 2011 civil war, the second such guilty verdict by the same court in recent days.
A judge in Misrata, one of the hardest hit cities during the war, found Ahmed Ibrahim guilty of inciting residents in Muammar Gaddafi's home town of Sirte to form armed gangs and fight the rebels that were seeking to overthrow the Libyan dictator.
Ibrahim also was convicted of spreading false news through the local radio station there and terrorising and demoralising the public.
The judge also found him guilty of killing a man named Moftah Sadiq el-Sofrani after kidnapping him from a hospital, as well as giving orders to kidnap and kill five other people from the same family.
The el-Sofrani family's lawyer, Salim Dans, said that the ruling will be sent to Libya's Supreme Court, which will either accept the initial sentencing or accept an appeal, if filed.
According to Libyan law, Ibrahim would be executed by a firing squad. No timeframe was given. The same court sentenced security official Masnour Al-Daw Gaddafi to death for his role in the civil war several days ago, according to Nasser Jibril, a journalist in Misrata who attended both trials.
The security chief belongs to the Gaddafi family and had headed one of Libya's most-hated security bodies called the Popular Guard. He also had been captured by rebels.
Libya's new rulers, while struggling to impose their authority, restore security and overhaul key ministries, have argued that their courts are able to conduct fair trials for Gaddafi loyalists.
However, the International Criminal Court in The Hague and international rights groups have questioned the North African country's ability to do so. They have urged Libya's rulers to hand over key figures for trial abroad, such as Gaddafi's son Seif al-Islam, who is being held by a militia in the western mountain town of Zintan.
The eight-month civil war swept Gaddafi from power, but left behind lingering bitterness and rage in a country where the authoritarian government imprisoned, tortured and killed its opponents. Many who survived the civil war, which killed thousands, have settled old scores themselves rather than wait for justice in a court. One such example is Gaddafi, who was captured by rebel forces in October 2011 and killed.