Libyan Court Adjourns Former Intelligence Chief Trial


On Wednesday, the criminal court circuit at the Appeals Court of Libyan Capital adjourned the trial of Abdullah Al-Senussi until 18 May, over the case of the Abu Salim prison massacre.

The court session was attended by defendants including Gaddafi-era intelligence chief, Al-Senussi and Abdullah Mansour.

The decision comes amid reports of health issues suffered by Al-Senussi during his time in prison. He had recently been diagnosed with cancer, according to the Libyan Association of Families of the Martyrs of the Abu Salim Massacre.

The appeals court had previously adjourned the session on 9 March, as requested by the defendants’ lawyer.

Abdullah Al-Senussi, a brother-in-law of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi, was sentenced to death in 2015 over the part he allegedly played in the regime’s response to a NATO-backed uprising in 2011. Eight others close to Gaddafi, including his son, Saif Al-Islam, also received death sentences.

Notably, several dozen relatives and members of Senussi’s tribe, the Magerha, gathered in a central Tripoli square in 2019 to demand he be freed over health concerns. “The law and medical reports support our legitimate demand,” said one protester, Mohamad Amer.

Al-Senussi was extradited in September 2012 by Mauritania, where he had fled after Gaddafi’s fall.
Similarly to Saif Al-Islam, he had also been the subject of an International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant for suspected war crimes during the 2011 uprising.

In an unusual move in 2013, the court gave Libyan authorities the green light to put him on trial.

He has since been imprisoned in the capital, along with some 40 other senior Gaddafi-era officials, including Gaddafi’s last Prime Minister Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi.