ICC unseals warrant for Libya’s Gaddafi-era official

Ex-security chief Al-Tuhamy Mohamed Khaled wanted for war crimes and acts against humanity, four-year-old document says

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has unsealed an arrest warrant for Libya’s former security chief, accusing him of carrying out war crimes in 2011 to stop opposition against the country’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi. The warrant, first issued in 2013 by the ICC, charged Al-Tuhamy Mohamed Khaled with three charges of war crimes and four crimes against humanity. The prosecutor’s office asked for the warrant to be made public as it “may facilitate [his] arrest and surrender as all states will then be aware of its existence”, the court said on Tuesday. According to Libyan media, he was arrested in Cairo in April 2012, but was released as there was no warrant against him. Born in Libya’s Janzour area in 1942, Khaled was known by several aliases and had “at least 10 different passports, some issued under other identities”.

Although Libya is not a party to the Rome Statute which underpins the ICC, the UN Security Council unanimously mandated the tribunal to investigate abuses in the country in February 2011. It was still under the rule of Gaddafi, who was killed months later by rebels in a NATO-backed uprising. Between February and August 2011, the military, intelligence and security agencies carried out attacks on the civilian population “in furtherance of a policy designed by the Libyan state to quash the political opposition to the Gaddafi regime by any means”, the warrant said. That included “lethal force and by arresting, detaining, torturing and abusing perceived political opponents”.

Prisoners across Libya “were subjected to various forms of mistreatment, including severe beatings, electrocution, acts of sexual violence and rape, solitary confinement” as well as mock executions. As head of the agency from February to August 2011, Khaled “had the authority to implement Gaddafi’s orders”, it said.