Published — Saturday 22 December 2012
Last update 21 December 2012 10:48 pm
TRIPOLI: Libya should suspend the trial of former interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil before a military court and stop civilian cases in such tribunals, a rights watchdog said.
“Libyan authorities should immediately cancel the impending trial of former National Transitional Council chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil in front of a military court,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement issued late on Thursday.
The New York-based group urged the Libyan authorities to amend the law to prohibit military courts from trying civilians and to include a guarantee in the yet-to-be drafted constitution to the same effect. “Dragging civilians in front of a military tribunal clearly violates international law and sets a dangerous precedent for Libya’s civilian justice system,” HRW’s Joe Stork said.
The trial of Abdel Jalil, the group added, should be transferred to a “civilian court if there is credible proof of wrongdoing.” Abdel Jalil, accused of abuse of power and undermining national security over the killing of a rebel general in Libya’s 2011 revolt, faces a travel ban and is due to appear in court on Feb. 20.