Bashagha Denounces “Illegal” Extradition of Libyan Citizen to US

Libyan Prime Minister-designate, Fathi Bashagha
Libyan Prime Minister-designate, Fathi Bashagha

On Sunday, Libyan Prime Minister-designate, Fathi Bashagha expressed his fears that the extradition of a Libyan citizen, Abu Agila Masud, took place “outside legal frameworks, and without the supervision of the Libyan judiciary. This constitutes a flagrant legal violation and infringement of Libya’s sovereignty and its national judiciary independence.”

Earlier today, the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity (GNU), headed by Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba extradited Masud to US authorities.

Masud faces charges of making the bomb that took down Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, 34 years ago.

In a thread on his Twitter account, Bashagha said “Our rejection of dictatorship and aspiration for democracy and rule of law make it incumbent on all of us to respect human rights, and to try any accused citizen under a legal umbrella, with transparent judicial procedures that guarantee the right of the accused to defend themselves.”

He “strongly rejected any form of terrorism, and reiterate my support for the principle of accountability and bringing all those who committed crimes to trial, provided that all this is done on basis of transparency & procedural, judicial legitimacy.”

Meanwhile, Bashagha reaffirmed his strong commitment to the fight against impunity. “Everyone who contributes to violating the law, the sovereignty of the State, and independence of the national judiciary shall be subject to moral and national responsibility.”

The US announced charges against Masud two years ago, alleging that he played a key role in the attack.

Last month it was reported that Masud had been kidnapped by a militia group in Libya, leading to speculation that he was going to be handed over to the American authorities to stand trial.

London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported in November that Dbaiba was accused of using Masud as a “scapegoat” for the United States, in return for “his government’s continuation in power.”