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US court recommends indicting Haftar for war crimes

June 11, 2022 at 12:28 pm

Self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) Chief of Staff, Khalifa Haftar arrives for a conference on Libya on 12 November 2018 [FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images]

Prosecutors of the federal court in the US state of Virginia have recommended indicting Libya’s warlord Khalifa Haftar for war crimes in absentia, Washington-based Libyan human rights defender Emadeddine Al-Montasir told on Friday.

The prosecutors believe that Haftar, who has US citizenship, oversaw reckless bombing campaigns, deliberate civilian massacres and torture of prisoners during Libya’s long and bloody civil war. He is accused of carrying out war crimes in 2016 and 2017 against Libyan citizens.

Al-Montasir expects the judge to approve the indictment in the coming days, turning Haftar from a suspect of war crimes to a criminal.

“After six years of hard work, we are finalising the prosecution in the American civil court,” Al-Montasir stated. “We are preparing for the second stage, which is a criminal prosecution for all war criminals in Libya.”

He added: “Everyone who hurt the Libyans, displaced them or killed them under the pretext of terrorism or the lie of achieving stability and security would be prosecuted, and the American judiciary has approved the claims of the victims and respected their suffering.”

Haftar has lived in Virginia for many years and has several expensive properties in the area, according to court documents.

READ: Libya in the prism of US’s Global Fragility Act