Turkey detains three over Istanbul building collapse

A Turkish woman being rescued at the site of a building that collapsed in Istanbul’s Kartal district on Feb. 6, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 14 February 2019
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Turkey detains three over Istanbul building collapse

  • They are charged with “killing by negligence”
  • The eight-story block where 43 people were registered as living crumbled last week but the cause still remains unclear

ISTANBUL: Turkish authorities on Thursday detained three suspects over the collapse of an apartment building in Istanbul that claimed the lives of 21 people, local media reported.
The suspects held over the collapse in the residential district of Kartal on the Asian side of the city were identified as project officer Suzan Cayir, technical implementation supervisor Ugur Misirlioglu and building inspector Arzu Keles Boran, the state run TRT television reported.
They are charged with “killing by negligence,” according to the NTV television.
The eight-story block where 43 people were registered as living crumbled last week but the cause still remains unclear.
Local officials said three storys were illegally added — a common practice in the country’s largest metropolis of around 15 million people.
The collapse fanned criticism of a government amnesty granted last year to people accused of illegal building — a measure announced ahead of municipal elections this March.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who visited the site on Saturday, said authorities have “lessons to learn” from the incident.


Libya protesters demand release of Qaddafi-era spy chief

Former Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi (L), dressed in prison blues, sits along with other defendants behind the bars of the accused cell during a hearing as part of his trial in a courthouse in Tripoli on December 28, 2014. (AFP)
Updated 25 March 2019
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Libya protesters demand release of Qaddafi-era spy chief

  • Senussi was extradited in September 2012 by Mauritania, where he had fled after Qaddafi’s fall
  • Al-Islam was captured and imprisoned by an armed group in the northwestern city of Zintan and sentenced by a Tripoli court in absentia

TRIPOLI: Relatives and supporters of Libya’s Qaddafi-era intelligence chief, jailed for his alleged role in a bloody crackdown during the country’s 2011 uprising, protested in Tripoli on Saturday to demand his release.
Abdullah Al-Senussi, a brother-in-law of longtime dictator Muamar Qaddafi, was sentenced to death in 2015 over the part he allegedly played in the regime’s response to a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 toppled and killed Qaddafi.
Eight others close to Qaddafi, including the Libyan leader’s son, Seif Al-Islam, also received death sentences following a trial condemned by the UN as “seriously” flawed.
Several dozen relatives and members of Senussi’s tribe, the Magerha, gathered in a central Tripoli square to demand he be freed over health concerns.
“The law and medical reports support our legitimate demand,” said one protester, Mohamad Amer.
Officials have not released specific details on his alleged health problems.
In a statement, the Magerha said his liberation would “contribute to and consolidate national reconciliation” in a country torn apart by intercommunal conflicts since Qaddafi’s fall.
The unusual protest comes just over a month after the release on health grounds of Abuzeid Dorda, Qaddafi’s head of foreign intelligence who was sentenced at the same time as Senussi.
The protesters held up photos of Senussi behind bars and placards reading “Freedom to prisoners. Yes to national reconciliation.”
Senussi was extradited in September 2012 by Mauritania, where he had fled after Qaddafi’s fall.
Like the dictator’s son, he had also been the subject of an International Criminal Court arrest warrant for suspected war crimes during the 2011 uprising.
But in an unusual move, in 2013 the court gave Libyan authorities the green light to put him on trial.
He has since been detained in the capital, along with some 40 other senior Qaddafi-era officials including the dictator’s last prime minister Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi.
Al-Islam was captured and imprisoned by an armed group in the northwestern city of Zintan and sentenced by a Tripoli court in absentia.
The group announced his release in 2017 but it was never confirmed and his fate remains unknown.