Extradited Gadaffi spy chief in custody

Deposed Libyan dictator Moammar Gadaffi’s notorious spy chief is in custody after extradition from Mauritania, a step toward bringing the man linked to aircraft bombings and atrocities to justice.

A plane carrying Abdullah al-Senoussi landed in the afternoon at Metiga air base at the heart of Tripoli. From there he was flown by helicopter to the Hill Prison in the capital.

“Abdullah al-Senoussi will be have a fair trial according to international standards for human rights, the rights from which Libyans were deprived,” Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib told reporters in Tripoli.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The former spy chief is accused of complicity in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, as well as the Abu Salim prison massacre of more than 1,200 inmates by Gadaffi’s regime in 1996 and another airplane bombing in 1989.

Mauritania, Libya, the International Criminal Court and France have all asked to try the former intelligence chief.

Libya and the ICC are embroiled in a similar dispute over where to try Seif al-Islam Gadaffi, known as the dictator’s political heir apparent. He is being held by a militia in western Libya..

The Libyan official said al-Senoussi was being held together with other former regime members, including an ex-prime minister.

Al-Senoussi is Gadaffi’s brother-in-law and was known as Gadaffi’s “black box,” a reference to his intimate knowledge of all aspects of Gadaffi’s abuses.

He was arrested in March at Mauritania’s international airport, where he showed up disguised as a Tuareg chieftain and traveling on a fake passport. For months, Mauritania – a country in north-west Africa – resisted calls to hand him over, insisting its laws were violated and that he should be tried there.