By Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli 4 March 2013:
Iraqi’s Justice Minister is to visit Tripoli shortly to sign a prison transfer agreement, according to a . . .[restrict]source at the Foreign Ministry. Under the accord, citizens of one country jailed by courts in the other will serve their sentence in their home country.
The source told the Libya Herald today, Monday, that Iraqi Justice Minister Hassan Shimari would pay an official visit leading a delegation of officials from the Iraqi Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Justice.
The visit will bring a conclusion to diplomatic efforts over the past months between Tripoli and Baghdad to end the issue of Libyan prisoners held in Iraqi jails, the source said.
The issue has remained unresolved for over a year despite Libyan government efforts to get Iraq to agree to repatriate them and Iraqi promises to do so.
In December, the Iraqi Council of Ministers agreed to give Shimari the authority to negotiate a judicial cooperation agreement between Iraq and Libya on allowing convicted criminals to serve their sentence in their home country.
The number of Libyan prisoners inside Iraqi prisons is put at 16. Six of them, including Adel Al-Shaalali and Adel Al-Zwai, have been sentenced to death, accused of involvement in terrorism and killing civilians. The others have been sentenced between 10 years and life imprisonment.
Shaalali was due to be executed on 9 December but the Iraqi government stopped the execution the day before following protests in Libya and an appeal from the Libyan government.