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Top aide to Kadafi captured, Libyan officials say

November 20, 2011 |  2:19 pm

REPORTING FROM BEIRUT — A day after arresting the late Moammar Kadafi’s son and onetime heir apparent, Libyan officials on Sunday said their fighters had captured another high-level fugitive: Abdullah Sanoussi, the former regime’s longtime top enforcer and intelligence chief.

Like Seif Islam Kadafi, who was seized on Saturday, Sanoussi is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity, including murder, allegedly committed during a bloody crackdown on protesters early this year.

Both were arrested in southern Libya’s vast Saharan expanses, officials said.

Libyan officials said Sunday that Kadafi and Sanoussi would be tried in Libya, despite pressure from human rights groups and other governments that they be turned over to the international court, based in the Dutch city of the Hague.

The International Criminal Court prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, has said he plans to visit Libya this week to discuss the matter.

Sanoussi, Moammar Kadafi’s brother-in-law and longtime confidant, is a widely despised figure who is alleged to have been behind some of the regime’s darkest episodes. Among them was the 1996 massacre of some 1,200 political prisoners at Tripoli’s notorious Abu Salim prison. Sanoussi may be able to answer a still-lingering question: Where are the bodies?

The circumstances of Sanoussi’s capture remained somewhat vague late Sunday. The Associated Press reported that he was captured at his sister’s home about 40 miles from the southern desert city of Sabha.


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— Patrick J. McDonnell

Photo: Participants at a conference held by the new Libyan national army react Sunday to news of the capture of Abdullah Sanoussi, a former top aide to Moammar Kadafi. Esam Al-Fetori / Reuters