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Former Gadhafi spy chief extradited from Mauritania to Libya

From Pierre Meilhan and Jomana Karadsheh, CNN
updated 1:46 AM EDT, Thu September 6, 2012
  • Libyan prime minister says Abdullah al-Senussi will get fair trial
  • Al-Senussi, Libyan intelligence chief under Gadhafi, was arrested in March in Mauritania
  • He is accused in a terror attack that killed 170 people
  • He is wanted by Libya, France and the International Criminal Court

(CNN) -- One of the most wanted members of Moammar Gadhafi's fallen regime was extradited Wednesday from Mauritania back to his home country, Libya's prime minister said.

Abdullah al-Senussi, the late Gadhafi's brother-in-law, arrived Wednesday afternoon in the Libyan capital of Tripoli "after great efforts," Abdul Rahim al-Kib said.

"Abdullah al-Senussi will receive a fair trial where international standards are respected ... a right Libyans were deprived of throughout the tyrant's rule," al-Kib said.

A government spokesman didn't say when al-Senussi will stand trial for alleged crimes against humanity, but did say it would a public trial. Al-Senussi is being held at a Ministry of Justice facility where other former regime leaders have been held in Tripoli, Nasser al-Manaa said.

Al-Senussi, a former intelligence chief, is also wanted by the International Criminal Court and by France, which also sought his extradition from Mauritania after his arrest, French officials have said.

He was arrested in March at Nouakchott airport in western Mauritania, the Libyan transitional government has said.

Rassoul el Khal, spokesman for Mauritania's president, said al-Senussi came into the country under a false identity.

Mauritania conducted its own inquiry in the matter, el Khal said, and granted the request of the Libyan government to send him back.

Al-Senussi is the subject of an international arrest warrant after his sentencing in absentia to life imprisonment for the September 19, 1989, terrorist attack on UTA flight 772, killing 170 people, including 54 French nationals. The French airliner exploded over Niger.

Al-Manaa said negotiations with France about al-Senussi will continue.

"We want to coordinate these efforts in a new situation where he is present in Libya as a Libyan citizen," al-Manaa said.

More: Despite Libya's scars, its rich history provides hope for future

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