By Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli, 9 October 2013:
The wife and family of Nazih Ruqaii, who was seized in the capital’s Nufleen district on Saturday and is now being held by the Americans, met with the Prime Minister and Justice Minister this morning to press for his freedom.
Ali Zeidan told Ruqaii’s wife, Um Abdulrahaman, that the government would do everything to ensure that Ruqaii’s legal rights were protected and had already taken a series of measures relating to the abduction.
For his part, Justice Minister Salah Marghani told to the family that the government was in contact with the US authorities to ensure Ruqaii’s legal rights and that he had access to lawyers. It had also been in contact with the International Red Cross. It was being asked to go and see the kidnapped man and ensure that he could phone his family at the earliest possible opportunity.
Yesterday, Marghani said the Americans must return Ruqaii who, he said, was being held on a US navy ship in the Mediterranean and was scheduled to appear in a court in New York next week.
Speaking at a press conference, he said that he had met the American Ambassador, Deborah Jones, who had promised legal rights for the abductee as well as allowing him to be in contact with the Libyan government and the Libyan embassy in Washington.
Ruqaii was “very sick”, Marghani said, and the accusations against him required evidence. Whatever the case, no Libyan could be extradited or otherwise taken out of the country and tried abroad. It was against Libyan law. If there were a case against Ruqaii, it would have to be heard in a Libyan court.
As for kidnapping him, it was not only against Libyan law, it was against international law as well, Marghani stressed. Libya would pursue the matter through international courts, he declared.
That message had now been sent to the Americans, he said. Immediately following the abduction, which had happened without any prior notification from the US, Tripoli had told them that despite their great support for the Libyan people during the revolution, they did not have the right to kidnap Libyan citizens, whatever the circumstances.