TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Tunisia has extradited former Libyan leader
Muammar Gaddafi's prime minister to Libya, a Libyan security official said on
Sunday, making him the first senior official to be sent back for trial under
the country's transitional leadership.
official Mohammed al-Ahwal told Reuters that a helicopter transferred Al
Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi to Tripoli on Sunday.
"Mahmoudi is now in
Tripoli and we are holding him in a prison," Ahwal said.
Mahmoudi served as the
Libyan dictator's prime minister from 2006 until he fled to neighboring Tunisia
around the time that rebel fighters took the capital Tripoli in August.
His extradition could
establish a precedent for other countries who have given refuge to or arrested
members of Gaddafi's old entourage.
Tripoli considers it a
matter of national pride and a measure of the country's transformation that
trials of people like Mahmoudi and Gaddafi's imprisoned son Saif al-Islam be
held in Libya.
But human rights groups
question whether its justice system can meet the standards of international law
and say he should be handed over to the ICC instead.
A Tunisian court ruled as far back as November
that Mahmoudi should be extradited. But Tunisian President Moncef al-Marzouki
later said the handover would not happen until the situation in Libya had
stabilized and Mahmoudi could be guaranteed a fair trial after Gaddafi himself
was killed by rebels and his rotting corpse left on display.