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Egyptian authorities grant Al-Qaddafi aide political asylum

Egypt's Board of State Commissioners has refused the Libyan authorities demand to extradite former coordinator of Libyan-Egyptian relations Ahmad Qaddafi Al-Dam, a cousin of ousted Libyan Colonel Muammar Al-Qaddafi. The board stated that Al-Dam's status as a political refugee in Egypt prevents his extradition under international law and recommended that the Egyptian authorities not send Al-Dam back to Libya, pointing out that the prevailing state of security chaos there would harm his chances for a fair and impartial trial in accordance with international standards.

A Cairo Criminal Court had acquitted Al-Dam in December of charges including attempting to murder two police officers, resisting arrest and possessing unlicensed weapons. In April, Egypt's administrative court ruled against the extradition of Al-Dam after he had presented documents confirming that he and his sisters are Egyptian nationals, born to Egyptian parents.

The Libyan authorities have requested the extradition of 18 of Al-Qaddafi's aides and the seizure of their funds on charges of committing criminal acts. During the rule of former President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt handed over two of Libya's most wanted, namely Ali Maria and Mohammed Ibrahim. The other aides the Libyan authorities have charged include: Imran Bo- Karra', Nasser Al-Mabrouk, Al-Tayyib Al-Safi, Mohammed Hijazi, Sanusi Alozyre, Ahmad Qaddafi Al-Dam, Ibreik Al-Zoy, Atallah Qaddafi Al-Dam, Ahmad Al-Qaddafi, Khalifa Al-Qaddafi, Ali Treiki, Mohammed Ismail, Altuhami Khalid, Bu-Zaid Al-Qaddafi, Abdullah Mansour and Ali Al-Kilani.

The Libyan ambassador in Cairo, Fayez Jibril, said that his country will resort to international courts to extradite the wanted men, but this would in no way influence the relations between his country and Egypt. Jibril said that Al-Qaddafi's aides in Egypt have waged a fierce campaign to spoil the relationship between the two countries and criticised the Egyptian media's focus on negative developments in Libya, as well as their insistance that the kidnapped Egyptian diplomats in Libya were released in exchange for releasing the head of the Libyan Revolutionaries Joint Operations Room, Shaaban Hadia Al-Zway.

Meanwhile, Libya's customs authorities have tightened all border ports with Tunisia and Egypt to strengthen security measures. The border crossings of Musaed in eastern Libya and Ras Jadeer in western Libya are only allowing entry strictly to Tunisian and Libyan nationals returning to their country.

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