Libya appeals Egypt court decision on Gaddafi cousin extradition

TRIPOLI Mon Apr 8, 2013 4:37pm BST

Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan speaks during a news conference at the Mitiga Airport in Tripoli February 16, 2013. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan speaks during a news conference at the Mitiga Airport in Tripoli February 16, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Ismail Zitouny

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya has appealed an Egyptian court decision barring the extradition of a cousin of Muammar Gaddafi, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said, adding Tripoli was also seeking the handover of the ousted dictator's former foreign minister elsewhere.

Last week, an Egyptian court ruled Gaddafi's cousin Ahmed Gaddaf Alddam should be tried in Egypt. Alddam, who is wanted in Libya for alleged counterfeiting, forgery, fraud and money laundering, is also under investigation on suspicion of attacking Egyptian police during his arrest last month.

"Libya has lodged an appeal," Zeidan told a news conference in Tripoli. "He will be brought to Libya where he will face a fair trial."

Zeidan said the Egyptian government was also appealing the court decision, but a court official in Cairo said no such appeal had yet been lodged.

Two other former Gaddafi officials were sent back to Libya after being arrested in Cairo last month, but Gaddaf Alddam was not handed over partly because he claims Egyptian citizenship, according to his lawyers.

The 60-year-old was a former special Libyan envoy to Cairo.

Without giving details of their whereabouts, Zeidan also said Libya was seeking the handover of Moussa Koussa, Gaddafi's former foreign minister and foreign intelligence chief, and senior protocol official Nouri al-Mosmari.

Koussa fled Libya to Britain in March 2011, in the early months of the North African country's uprising, and shortly after was said to have left for Qatar.

"Talks have also begun over Moussa Koussa and Nouri al-Mosmari," he said. "It will be done through all the right legal means."

Libya's new rulers, who aim to draw up a democratic constitution this year, are keen to try Gaddafi's family members and loyalists at home to show citizens that those who helped Gaddafi stay in power for 42 years are being punished.

Human rights activists worry a weak central government and a relative lack of rule of law mean legal proceedings will not meet international standards.

(Reporting by Ali Shuaib; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Jon Hemming)