By Jamie Prentis.
Tunis, 25 April 2017:
After a six-year gap, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has issued an arrest warrant for a member of the former Qafddafi regime. It has announced the unsealing of the warrant for Al-Tuhamy Mohamed Khaled, the head of the regime’s internal security, for crimes committed during the 2011 revolution.
The warrant, originally issued in April 2013, but not made public till now, alleges torture, imprisonment, persecution, cruel treatment and “outrages upon personal dignity”.
ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has reopened the file saying it “could foster support and cooperation for an arrest operation from the international community”.
It is only the fourth revolution-era warrant publicly issued by the ICC. The other three, issued on 2011, were those for Muammar and Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi and Abdullah Senussi, the former intelligence chief.
Since then, despite calls by international and Libyan human rights organisations and activists for more cases to be brought to court, most recently in January, the ICC has taken no action until now. However, last November Bensouda told the UN Security Council that the ICC would return to Libya to investigate alleged war crimes, saying Libya would be a priority in 2017. It was thought at the time, though, that she was referring to crimes committed since the revolution, rather than during it.
The accusations against Al-Tuhamy, from the west Tripoli suburb of Janzour, comprise four crimes against humanity – imprisonment, torture, persecution and other inhumane acts –and three war crimes –torture, cruel treatment and outrages upon personal dignity – all alleged to have taken place between February and August 2011. In the original warrant, the ICC says it has a reasonable grounds to believe that he had the authority to implement Qaddafi’s orders in his role in internal security.
The original 2013 warrant requested that Egypt “keep this request and any document accompanying this request confidential, except to the extent that the disclosure is necessary for execution of the requests”. The suggestion was that he was in Egypt at the time.
He is said to be in possession of 10 different passports.
Given Bensouda’s statement last November that Libya would be a priority this year, more arrest warrants already drawn up for Qaddafi-era officials are now expected to be publicly disclosed.