Senussi Denies Involvement in Killing of ‘February 17’ Protesters in Libya 

Abdullah al-Senussi, former head of military intelligence under late Libyan leader Moammar al-Gaddafi. (Reuters file photo)
Abdullah al-Senussi, former head of military intelligence under late Libyan leader Moammar al-Gaddafi. (Reuters file photo)
TT

Senussi Denies Involvement in Killing of ‘February 17’ Protesters in Libya 

Abdullah al-Senussi, former head of military intelligence under late Libyan leader Moammar al-Gaddafi. (Reuters file photo)
Abdullah al-Senussi, former head of military intelligence under late Libyan leader Moammar al-Gaddafi. (Reuters file photo)

Abdullah al-Senussi, former head of military intelligence under late Libyan leader Moammar al-Gaddafi, denied on Monday charges that he was involved in the killing and quelling of protests during the February 17, 2011 revolution that toppled Gaddafi.

Senussi appeared before an appellate court in the capital Tripoli where “he faced over 25 charges, including the killing of protesters,” said his lawyer Ahmad Nashad.

Nashad told Asharq Al-Awsat that Senussi denied all the charges during the hearing that lasted four and a half hours.

The court listened to Senussi’s defense and later, he recalled the conditions of his arrest and current health situation, he added.

Senussi, 73, was seen as one of the most powerful figures in the Gaddafi regime. He was married to Gaddafi's sister-in-law and part of his inner circle.

Senussi’s court appearance had been delayed 13 times because of the opposition of the Special Deterrence Force militia. He has been held in Mitiga prison in Tripoli.

His supporters believe he is being held “hostage”, claiming his jailors worry that he will gain popular support as soon as he is released from prison.

Nashad said the hearing was adjourned to February 5 when it will listen to the defense of the remaining accused.

Senussi was sentenced to death in 2015 after he was accused of quelling the February 17 protests. In 2019, he was acquitted by a Tripoli court, but the supreme court overruled the decision and the case is being handled by another court.

Senussi’s Magarha tribe said it was optimistic after Monday’s court appearance.

Sheikh Haroun Arhouma, a tribal leader, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Senussi has heart problems and is suffering from liver cancer.

“We will hold Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah's government responsible for any harm that may befall him,” he warned.

Dbeibah is head of the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity (GNU).

“We will await the outcome of next week’s court session. We will welcome any good news, but we will take action if the outcome does not please us,” said Sheikh Haroun without elaborating.

“We control the oil and gas wells, as well as the water pipelines in the South. We will make our response heard. The western regions don’t boast oil or war,” he remarked.



Yemen's Houthis Say to Escalate Military Operations in Support of Gaza

A Houthi military helicopter flies over a cargo ship in the Red Sea. (Reuters)
A Houthi military helicopter flies over a cargo ship in the Red Sea. (Reuters)
TT

Yemen's Houthis Say to Escalate Military Operations in Support of Gaza

A Houthi military helicopter flies over a cargo ship in the Red Sea. (Reuters)
A Houthi military helicopter flies over a cargo ship in the Red Sea. (Reuters)

Yemen's Houthis will continue their military operations and escalate them "in quality and quantity" in support of Palestinians in Israel's war in Gaza, the Iran-backed group's leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi said in a televised speech on Thursday, Reuters reported.

The group have been attacking ships in the Red Sea region since November, forcing shippers to re-route cargo to longer and more expensive journeys around southern Africa.

The group later expanded the scope of its attacks to the Indian Ocean and said it would also target any ships heading towards Israeli ports in the Mediterranean Sea.