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US court convicts Khalifa Haftar as war criminal

The Federal Court of Eastern Virginia also rejected a petition by Haftar's lawyer demanding a suspension of the trial as the North African country prepares for elections

The Libyan American Alliance announced on Friday that it had obtained a ruling from the US Federal Court in Virginia convicting Khalifa Haftar in all cases brought against him for war crimes in Libya.

The alliance said that the federal court rejected Haftar's lawyer's request to freeze the case against him, convicting him as a war criminal, which observers consider a major conviction preventing Haftar from running in any electoral race.

The Libyan American Alliance explained that the Federal Court in Virginia ordered Haftar to pay compensation for the case and officially declared him a war criminal. The alliance added that the lawsuit was filed as a civil lawsuit and accepted on this basis.

On 22 July, Haftar's lawyer submitted a petition to the Federal Court of Eastern Virginia to demand a suspension of the trial against his client on charges of war crimes, given the progress in preparing for the elections. Haftar's lawyer explained that the purpose of this request is to prevent the case from being used as a tool to impede Haftar from running for the presidency.

CEO of the Democracy & Human Rights Foundation Emadeddin Z. Muntasser has stated that the defendant's lawyer's petition relied on the statement issued by the US, UK, Italy, France and Germany, which called on the parliament and the state to issue the constitutional rule for elections.

READ: Haftar lawyer asks to freeze trial so he can run for president

Muntasser added that the lawyer also relied on the meeting between Libyan parties in Geneva in response to the demands of the five countries. This is in addition to the meeting of the chief of staff of Haftar's forces with the prime minister of the Government of National Unity in Tripoli this week to discuss a ceasefire and the unification of the military institution.

Muntasser also noted that Haftar's lawyer indicated a firm desire to hold elections in Libya shortly, stressing that Haftar intends to participate in the presidential elections. He also stated that the Libyan interior minister met with the head of the High Electoral Commission to prepare for the elections.

Bloody Haftar - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Bloody Haftar – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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