By Callum Paton.
Tripoli, 16 December 2013:
The Congressional Foreign Affairs Committee has called the appearance on an Egyptian satellite channel of Ahmad . . .[restrict]Qaddaf Al-Dam, former aide and cousin to Muammar Qaddafi, an attack on the revolution. At the same time, Magdy Ruslan, Qaddaf Al-Dam’s lawyer, has said that his client will not be tried in Libya.
The acquittal of Qaddaf Al-Dam in a Cairo court on charges of resisting arrest and the attempted murder of three officers has placed a great deal of strain on relations between Cairo and Tripoli. While Prime Minister Zeidan has said that, despite recent events, ties between the two countries remain strong, the appearance of Qaddaf Al-Dam on Egyptian television in the aftermath of his trial has caused consternation in Libya.
In a statement today the Congressional Foreign Affairs Committee called the appearance unacceptable, warning that it had caused “a hairline fracture” in relations with Egypt and could damage bilateral interests. The committee reissued its demand that Egyptian authorities extradite all Libyans in the country wanted for various crimes following the fall of the Qaddafi regime.
Speaking also today, Qaddaf Al-Dam’s lawyer has said his client, who holds Egyptian residency, will not be tried in Libya and is living in stability in Egypt which he considers a second home. Ruslan said that Qaddaf Al-Dam had every right to travel as he chose and would be seeking the removal of his name from travel watch-lists.
Qaddaf Al-Dam was one of forty top Qaddafi aides that Tripoli has been seeking to have returned from Egypt to face trial for a range of crimes in Libyan courts.
Former Libyan ambassador to Egypt, Ali Mohamed Marya, and Mohamed Ibrahim Mansour, a senior finance official in the old regime, were captured on the same day as Qaddaf Al-Dam and extradited. Qaddaf Al-Dam remained in Egypt, however, to face charges and has since been released from custody.