Tunisia’s President Moncef Marzouki denounced the extradition of Moamer Kadhafi’s former prime minister to Libya as “illegal” late Sunday, in a broadside at his country’s Islamist prime minister.
A statement from Marzouki’s office denounced Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali’s decision to extradite Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi, saying it had been taken without consulting him.
“The presidency of the Republic expresses its rejection of the decision of the head of government to extradite M. Mahmoudi and considers this decision is illegal, all the more so because it has been done unilaterally and without consulting the President of the Republic,” the statement said.
“The extradition decision, signed by the head of the Tunisian government, constitutes a clear violation of our country’s international commitments and those towards the UN,” the statement added.
“The president’s office holds the head of government responsible for anything that happens after the extradition…,” and for anything that subsequently befalls Mahmoudi.
Earlier Sunday, a spokesman for Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali told AFP it had extradited Mahmoudi, despite protests from his lawyers and rights groups that he faces execution back in Libya.
Mahmoudi, who served as Kadhafi’s premier from 2006 until the final days of his regime, fled to neighbouring Tunisia last September shortly after rebel fighters took the capital Tripoli.
The February 2011 uprising ended more than four decades of the dictator Kadhafi’s rule.
Lawyers and rights groups had argued that he would be executed if returned to Libya and Tunisia’s president had also called for guarantees that Mahmoudi would receive a fair trial.
Libyan Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib insisted Sunday his rights would be protected.
“The Libyan government reiterates that the accused will receive good treatment in accordance with the teachings of our righteous religion and according to international standards of human rights,” he said.