TRIPOLI: Libya should suspend the trial of former interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil before a military court and stop civilian cases in such tribunals, a rights watchdog said.
“Libyan authorities should immediately cancel the impending trial of former National Transitional Council (NTC) chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil in front of a military court,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a statement issued late Thursday.
The New York-based group urged the Libyan authorities to amend the law to prohibit military courts from trying civilians and to include a guarantee in the yet-to-be drafted constitution to the same effect.
“Dragging civilians in front of a military tribunal clearly violates international law and sets a dangerous precedent for Libya’s civilian justice system,” HRW’s Joe Stork said in the statement.
The trial of Jalil, the group added, should be transferred to a “civilian court if there is credible proof of wrongdoing.”
Jalil, accused of abuse of power and undermining national security over the killing of a rebel general in Libya’s 2011 revolt, faces a travel ban and is due to appear in court on Feb.20.
Jalil was chairman of NTC, a political body representing the rebels during last year’s conflict, which ended in the ouster and death of dictator Muammar Qadhafi.
The prosecutors have also summoned for questioning Mahmud Jibril, who was the head of the NTC’s executive committee at the time and who played a critical role winning international support for the Libyan revolution, the same source said.
Jibril now leads a liberal coalition of political parties.
General Yunes, the highest-ranking military figure to join the uprising last year, was killed in July 2011 in murky circumstances after being recalled from the front line for questioning.