Kadhafi must get trial, not exile, rebels say

29th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

The international conference in London Tuesday should decide that Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi must go on trial for crimes against humanity and not be offered exile, a spokesman for Libya's rebel government said.

"He must be charged for crimes against the Libyan people," Shamsiddin Abdulmolah told AFP. "This is non-negotiable."

The head of the rebel's emergency relief committee, Mahmud Jibril -- effectively the insurgents' designated interim prime minister -- was attending the London meeting to set out the positions of the National Transitional Council (NTC), Abdulmolah said.

The London conference was bringing together representatives of more than 35 countries, including seven Arab states.

It was being held as Libya's rebels were facing tough resistance from the regime's forces near Bin Jawad, close to Kadhafi's hometown of Sirte.

The fighting stalled a fast-moving push westwards by the rebels, who on the weekend drove out from their eastern stronghold of Benghazi to seize vast swathes of east Libya in the wake of coalition airstrikes that have decimated Kadhafi's heavy weaponry.

Abdulmolah said the NTC was preparing an official statement on its views of what the London conference should achieve, and that would be communicated shortly.

But he stressed the rebels would not permit any compromise on two points: the prosecution of Kadhafi, his sons and his aides; and the resolve that Libya should be a united, sovereign state with Tripoli as its capital -- and not a country divided between a pro-Kadhafi west and a pro-rebel east.

© 2011 AFP

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