International Criminal Court chasing fugitive Gaddafi-era security chief

International Criminal Court chasing fugitive Gaddafi-era security chief
2 min read
26 April, 2017
Al-Tuhamy Mohamed Khaled possesses at least ten passports and numerous alternate identities. He stands accused of war crimes for crushing protests and torturing detainees. His whereabouts are unknown.
Gadhafi was toppled in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 [AFP]

An arrest warrant against a fugitive Libyan security chief was re-issued on Monday by international judges, who are looking to try the former Gaddafi regime official for alleged war crimes at The Hague.

The legislation targets al-Tuhamy Mohammed Khaled, who served as Libya's internal security agency chief under former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

He is accused of presiding over war crimes committed during the crushing of popular protests against the Libyan dictator in 2011. 

A warrant for his arrest was initially issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2013. 

However, on Monday the warrant was made public - according to the prosecutor's office - in order to facilitate Khaled's arrest, "as all states will then be aware of its existence".

Khaled, born in the Janzour area of Libya in 1942, is said to have at least ten different passports - under a number of names and identities - and remains at large. 

Libyan media reported that he was arrested in Cairo in April 2012, but was consequently released. 

The ICC warrant accuses Khaled of overseeing attacks to on civilians dating to 2011 that included the use of "lethal force" and the arrest and "detaining, torturing and abusing perceived political opponents". 

It also calls for the cooperation of Egyptian authorities to further the investigation, reported AFP.

Forms of mistreatment of detainees, the report said, included "severe beatings, electrocution, acts of sexual violence and rape, solitary confinement" in addition to mock executions.

Human Rights Watch has called the treatment of detainees in Libyan prisons in the lead up to Gaddafi's toppling in 2011 "sickening". 

Despite NATO support for the 2011 uprising, Libya has consequently descended into a state of flux, with no single authority establishing itself across the country.

Currently there are two rival governments based in Tripoli and Tobruk backed by various international actors. Power vacuums have also allowed the Islamic State group-linked militants to carve out enclaves in the war-torn country.