Kadhafi tops ICC prosecutor's wanted list

16th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor on Monday asked for arrest warrants for three top Libyans including Moamer Kadhafi as part of an investigation into crimes against humanity committed since mid-February. Here are the three players:

-- Moamer Kadhafi: Having ruled Libya with an iron fist for the last 42 years, the 68-year-old is the longest-serving leader in Africa. Known as the "Guide of the Revolution", he says he has no official post from which to resign.

Born, according to legend, underneath a Bedouin tent in the desert near Sirte in 1942, Kadhafi at the age of 27 overthrew Libya's King Idriss in 1969.

In 1977 he proclaimed "Jamahiriya" in which he defined Libya as a "state of the masses" governed by popularly elected committees.

His lifestyle as well as the way he rules seems unpredictable to Westeners and Arabs alike.

-- Seif al-Islam: The second son of Colonel Kadhafi and his regime's semi-official spokesman.

At age 38 he is regularly introduced as his father's successor but publicly denies it. A man of influence, he does not have an official function but has distinguished himself over the last years as the regime's most dependable emissary and craftsman of reforms, anxious to normalise Libya's relations with the West.

He shot to prominence as a mediator over the 2007 release after eight years of Bulgarian nurses who were jailed as scapegoats for a hospital Aids outbreak.

He is the elder son of Kadhafi's second wife and his second of eight children.

Single, he speaks English, German and a bit of French and studied first in Vienna and then in London.

-- Abdullah Senussi: Kadhafi's brother-in-law is considered to be his righthand man in controlling security in the country and a key player in the suppression of demonstrations against the regime.

He was listed by the International Criminal Court as the country's intelligence chief but it was unclear whether he still served in that position by the end of February.

Senussi was blamed for killings in the eastern city of Benghazi as well as recruiting foreign mercenaries fighting in the regime's service, according to The Guardian.

Further back, he has been fingered for the massacre at the Abu Salim prison in Tripoli in 1996 in which more than 1,000 prisoners were shot dead and more recently for involvement in a Libyan intelligence plot to assassinate Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in late 2003.

He was sentenced in absentia by a French court in 1999 for his involvement in the bombing of a UTA passenger plane over Niger in 1989 that killed 170 people.

© 2011 AFP

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