Official calls to extradite ex-Libya intel chief

Associated Press + More

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania (AP) — Libya's deputy prime minister traveled to the Mauritanian capital on Monday to press for the extradition of one of Moammar Gadhafi's closest associates, the former Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi.

Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shaghour of Libya told reporters at the airport that he had come with a plea on behalf of the people of Libya.

"We are here to ask our Mauritanian brothers to hand over this criminal who has committed many crimes against the Libyan people. We will judge him in Libya," he said.

The former intelligence chief is accused of attacking civilians during the uprising in Libya last year and of the 1989 bombing of a French airliner. The International Criminal Court, France and Libya all said they want to prosecute al-Senoussi.

In Washington, the State Department praised the capture of al-Senoussi. Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland called it "a crucial step toward justice and accountability and another welcome step away from the dark 40-year history of Libya."

"We want to see him brought to justice and, you know, right now we have a Libyan delegation in Mauritania. So we'll see where those contacts go," she told reporters.

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