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Ex-NTC chief grilled over Libya killing

Mustafa Abdel Jalil accused of abusing power after being questioned over death of general during anti-Gaddafi uprising.
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2012 13:15
Abdel Jalil headed the National Transitional Council during the uprising against Gaddafi [Reuters]

Libyan military prosecutors have accused ex-leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil of abusing his power, after grilling him over the death of a general who led rebels during last year's uprising, a prosecution official said.

"Mustafa Abdel Jalil was accused of abuse of power and undermining national unity," by military prosecutors who questioned him in the eastern town of Marj over the 2011 assassination of Abdel Fatah Yunes, Majdi al-Baraasi told AFP news agency.

Abdel Jalil was chairman of the National Transitional Council (NTC), a political body representing the rebels during the uprising, which ended in the ouster and death of Muammer Gaddafi.

Prosecutors allowed him to to "go free on bail but a travel ban was issued against him until he appears before a military court in Benghazi on February 20," added Baraasi, who took part in the interrogation.

They have also summoned for questioning Mahmud Jibril, who was the head of the NTC's executive committee at the time and who played a critical role in winning international support for the Libyan revolution, the same source said.

Jibril now leads a liberal coalition of political parties.

Yunes' assassination 

General Yunes, the highest-ranking military figure to join the uprising last year, was killed in July 2011 in murky circumstances after being recalled from the front line for questioning.

Abdel Jalil announced Yunes's death on July 29, 2011, saying that he had been shot and killed by an armed group as he was brought in to be questioned by a panel of judges over the military situation.

His burned and bullet-ridden body was found on the outskirts of Benghazi.

Abdel Fatah Yunes, head of the Libyan rebel forces, was killed in July 2011 in murky circumstances [AFP]

Members of the powerful Al-Obeidi tribe to which the general belonged warned last month that they would take justice into their own hands if the country's new authorities continued to "neglect the case".

They openly accuse Abdel Jalil of playing a role in the assassination.

Recently, Yunes' family's lawyer Youssef Aguila told AFP that Abdel Jalil could be accused of "inciting murder" because "he was responsible for the political phase (leading to the fall of the Gaddafi regime.)"

At least 13 people have been formally accused of involvement in the affair, including Judge Jumaa al-Jazwi, who signed the order to arrest Yunes.

Jazwi was himself assassinated in June this year.

Yunes played an key role in last year's liberation of Benghazi, the cradle of the anti-Gaddafi revolution, where he brokered a ceasefire at a besieged military base in the centre of the city, permitting loyalists to flee.

But despite his early defection, many rebels put little faith in the general, who was part of the circle of officers that helped bring Gaddafi to power in a 1969 bloodless coup.

Abdel Jalil, 60, was justice minister until his defection in February 2011.

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