AFP
Last updated: 14 November, 2011

Tripoli asks Niger to rethink asylum for Kadhafi son

Libya’s new leaders on Monday urged Niger to reconsider its “hostile” decision to grant asylum to Moamer Kadhafi’s son Saadi during the uprising which overthrew the longtime leader.

“Niger should not become an asylum for criminals. We ask Niger to review this unjustified decision,” said Abdel Hafidh Ghoga, vice chairman of the National Transitional Council and spokesman for the new authorities.

“If Niger will harbour criminals wanted by the law, the hostile and unjustified decision will have an impact on our relations,” he said.

Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou said on Friday that his country has decided to grant Saadi Kadhafi asylum for humanitarian reasons.

Saadi Kadhafi, 38, fled Libya across its southern frontier to Niger in August during the fall of Tripoli that ended his authoritarian father’s 42-year regime.

Libya’s new leadership wants Saadi Kadhafi to stand trial for crimes allegedly committed while heading the country’s football federation.

Niger’s Prime Minister Brigi Rafini said in September that there was “no question” of extraditing Saadi, at least until he could be assured of a fair trial in Libya.