WED 14 - 11 - 2018
Jul 6, 2018
The Daily Star
ICC unveils second arrest warrant for Benghazi commander
Agence France Presse
THE HAGUE: The International Criminal Court revealed Thursday it has issued a second arrest warrant for a Libyan military commander accused of shooting dead 10 militant prisoners after a Benghazi mosque attack.
The new warrant for Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf al-Werfalli, issued Wednesday, cites "his alleged responsibility for murder as a war crime" in the Libyan conflict, the ICC said in a statement.
Despite an earlier warrant issued in August, Werfalli, a commander of the Benghazi-based Al-Saiqa Brigade loyal to Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar, has remained at large.
Now ICC judges have found "reasonable grounds to believe" that Werfalli "allegedly shot dead 10 persons in front of the Biat al-Radwan Mosque in Benghazi" on Jan. 24.
Almost 40 people were killed and scores injured in twin car bombings outside the mosque after evening prayers frequented by militant opponents in Libya's second city.
The first warrant accused Werfalli of the cold-blooded executions of at least 33 civilians or injured fighters in seven incidents in 2016 and 2017.
The ICC judges referred to video footage allegedly showing Werfalli personally shooting hooded and bound prisoners, or ordering a firing squad to open fire on them.
In February, Werfalli said in an unconfirmed Facebook video post that he had handed himself in to Haftar, insisting on his innocence, and justifying any executions as "sentences" against militant killers.
Libya fell into chaos after the ouster of strongman Moammar Gadhafi in October 2011, with competing authorities in Tripoli and the east vying for power.
Haftar supports an administration based in the east, while the U.N.-backed unity government based in the capital Tripoli has struggled to assert its authority outside of the west of the country.
ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has repeatedly called for help in arresting Werfalli, as well as Kadhafi's son Seif al-Islam, who is also wanted on charges of war crimes.
A warrant has also been issued for the arrest of former security chief Al-Tuhamy Mohammad Khaled, accused of war crimes committed in 2011.
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