Baghdadi al-Mahmudi
A Tunisian court will next week review Tripoli's demand for the extradition of Libyan ex-prime minister Baghdadi al-Mahmudi, seen here in June 2011. © Mahmud Turkia - AFP/File
Baghdadi al-Mahmudi
AFP
Last updated: November 2, 2011

Tunisian court to mull extradition of Libyan ex-PM

A Tunisian court will next week review Tripoli's demand for the extradition of Libyan ex-prime minister Baghdadi al-Mahmudi, his lawyer Mabrouk Kourchid said Wednesday.

A hearing fixed for November 22 has been brought forward to November 8 as the Libyan embassy in Tunis has already provided the necessary documents, Kourchid told AFP.

Mahmudi, Libya's premier until the final days of Moamer Kadhafi's regime, was arrested on September 21 on Tunisia's southwestern border with Algeria under a warrant from the new authorities in Tripoli.

A Tunisian court swiftly sentenced the 70-year-old to six months in prison after finding him guilty of illegal entry, but that decision was overruled on appeal.

Tunisia in August recognised Libya's National Transitional Council as the country's new authority and has committed itself to cooperation on security issues.

Kourchid said on Monday that Mahmudi fears for his life as the sole holder of Libyan state secrets since Kadhafi's death on October 20.

"After the death of Moamer Kadhafi, he became the only one to hold the secrets of the Libyan state, and has become valuable prey for the secret service," Kourchid told a news conference in Tunis.

"Baghdadi al-Mahmudi is appealing for help because he fears for his life. There is an attempt to influence Tunisian justice" by the Libyan authorities, he said.

"I am concerned by my client's health, which is deteriorating," Kourchid said of Mahmudi, who briefly went on a hunger strike in late September.

The lawyer has made a new application for Mahmudi's release which is to come before a court on November 9, the day after the extradition hearing.

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