Libya… Khalifa Haftar’s death sentence

Libya… Khalifa Haftar’s death sentence
Libya… Khalifa Haftar’s death sentence

The Permanent Military Court, in the Libyan city of Misurata, issued a judgment in absentia, Thursday, to the death penalty for Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

The General Military Prosecutor in Libya ordered the arrest and summons of Haftar on charges of violating the Military Penal Code.

And media outlets quoted the military prosecutor as saying that Haftar was subject to arrest warrants in five cases between 2019 and 2020.

Haftar had submitted his candidacy file for the presidential elections scheduled for December 24.

On Wednesday, the Electoral Commission announced Haftar’s name among the accepted files, while it rejected the file of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.

The candidacy of both Haftar and Gaddafi’s son sparked widespread controversy inside and outside Libya, as they are the subject of judicial follow-ups for war crimes.

The Deputy Public Prosecutor at the Military Prosecutor’s Office in Libya had asked the High Elections Commission to stop any procedures related to the candidacy of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and Haftar in the Libyan presidential elections, accusing them of committing war crimes.

Al-Hurra TV correspondent in Libya said that the General Military Prosecutor in Libya ordered the arrest of Khalifa Haftar for violating the law criminalizing the political work of the military.

And last Friday, hundreds of Libyans demonstrated in the capital, Tripoli, and Misurata, in the west of the country, to denounce the candidacy of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and Khalifa Haftar.

Demonstrators in the capital waved the Libyan and Berber flags and raised banners in Arabic and English denouncing the participation of those they described as “war criminals” in the elections.

Demonstrators trampled on pictures of Saif al-Islam and Haftar, which were crossed out with a red flag, according to AFP correspondents.

On September 22, Haftar suspended his military duties, in preparation for running for elections, in accordance with the provisions of the electoral law approved by the parliament, which is based in the east, and some criticized him as being tailored to Haftar.

The law allows him, if he is not elected, to return to his previous duties.

Khalifa Haftar emerged at the beginning of the 2011 uprising in which he participated to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi.

He returned to Libya in March 2011 after twenty years in exile, and settled in Benghazi.

Haftar has led several military battles since then, first against groups affiliated with Gaddafi, and then against forces loyal to the former Government of National Accord in Libya, before reaching a ceasefire agreement in October 2020.

Haftar’s announcement of his candidacy for the presidential elections was expected, knowing that before the start of the current political track in Libya, he tried to control the capital militarily.

Haftar launched a large-scale military operation in April 2019 that lasted until the middle of last year, before his forces withdrew as a result of military losses and international pressure.

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