Tripoli, 16 March 2103:
Libya and Iraq have signed an agreement of prisoner exchange and judicial cooperation.
It was signed yesterday, Friday, in . . .[restrict]Tripoli by the Minister of Justice, Salah Al-Marghani, and his Iraqi counterpart, Hassan Shimari. Attending the ceremony were the Deputy President of the General National Congress, Juma Ateega, the Third Deputy Prime Minister, Abdussalam Al-Qadi, Minister of State for GNC affairs Muaz Khoja, Ministry of Justice Undersecretary Sharif Zahri, and the administrator responsible for the file of Libyan prisoners abroad, Sulaiman Al-Fortia.
Also attending were the families of Libyan prisoners in Iraq as well as a number of Iraqi businessmen in Libya.
The deal is seen as being crucial to improving Libyan-Iraqi relations.
“This does not mean that Libyan prisoners will be transferred straightway,” said Taha Shakshuki of the Libyan Group for Demanding Libyan Prisoners Abroad. He said the group has been told by the Justice Ministry that the agreement is in effect a memorandum of understanding, which still needs to be approved by the Iraqi parliament. Nor will Libya prisoners be automatically transferred, he explained. Each case will to be approved by the Iraqi authorities.
There are said to be 16 Libyan convicted prisoners in Iraqi jails, six of them sentenced to death.
Libya has prisoner exchange agreements with a number of countries. But this is the first to be made since the revolution.