Daughter of Gaddafi's ex-spy chief says jailed father very sick

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 07, 2012 8:54 AM

By Hadeel Al Shalchi

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - The daughter of Muammar Gaddafi's ex-spy chief is concerned her father may not be getting treatment for his cancer and has not seen a lawyer since being extradited to a Libyan jail in September.

Abdullah al-Senussi, one of the most feared members of Gaddafi's regime before rebels toppled it last year, was captured in Mauritania in March, triggering a tug of war between Libya, France and the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his extradition.

Sarah Senussi likened her father's repatriation to a kidnapping and said she was worried about his kidney cancer.

"I haven't spoken to him in over 60 days and his lawyer hasn't been allowed in to see him," she said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

"Human rights organizations have asked repeatedly to visit him in jail and they have been refused also," the 27-year-old told Reuters from an undisclosed location.

Senussi's extradition came after a high-level Libyan delegation, including the chief of staff and the justice minister, visited the West African state but it was not clear if there was a court decision sanctioning his transfer.

"At seven in the morning the Mauritanian authorities came in and told us that the president wanted to see him," Sarah said.

"So he left with them even though we begged him not to go, but he did anyway. The last time we saw him was on TV being sent back to Libya."

Sarah said she had also not been able to speak to her 20-year-old sister, Al-Unood, who was detained by the Libyan military police in October.

Libyan authorities said Unood was held after entering the country from Algeria on a fake passport.

"My sister was referred to a criminal court last Sunday without her or her lawyer being present at court," Sarah said.

"We don't know how she is doing in jail because her lawyer can't visit her."

While Senussi faces charges of "crimes against Libyans" in Tripoli and is also wanted by the war crimes court in the Hague and by France, Unood has not been accused of any crime, except illegally entering Libya.

Senussi was arrested seven months ago after arriving with a falsified Malian passport on a flight to the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott, from Morocco.

Sarah said that the passport was valid and that Mali had gifted Senussi the citizenship.

The ICC has issued a warrant for Senussi accusing him of crimes against humanity, including murder. France wants to try him in connection with a 1989 airliner bombing over Niger in which 54 of its nationals and many others died.

Senussi has also been linked to the 1988 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland of a U.S. passenger plane that killed 270 people. Diplomatic sources have said the United States was keen to question him about that.

(Editing by Robin Pomeroy)