Tunisia Extradites Gadhafi’s Last Prime Minister Back to Libya for Trial

Posted June 24th, 2012 at 8:15 pm (UTC-5)
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Tunisia extradited a jailed former Libyan prime minister back to Libya Sunday, setting up a possible showdown among top Tunisian leaders who disagreed on whether to send him back.

Tunisian authorities arrested Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi last year when he fled into Tunisia from Libya. He was Moammar Gadhafi's last prime minister before the dictator's government collapsed.

The new Libyan government wants to put Mahmoudi on trial for alleged crimes against the Libyan people.

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki says he fears Mahmoudi would not get a fair trial in Libya, and possibly would be tortured or executed. But Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali signed the extradition order, apparently without the Tunisian president's knowledge or approval.

Marzouki's office says the extradition could lead to a political crisis in Tunisia and could have huge consequences.

A delegation of Tunisian officials visited Tripoli to seek assurance that Mahmoudi will be treated fairly.

The three parties that make up Tunisia's ruling coalition split the top government jobs of president, prime minister and speaker of parliament.