UPDATE 4-Gaddafi's ex-spy chief handed back to Libya

Wed Sep 5, 2012 3:05pm GMT

* Abdullah al-Senussi extradited to Libya, in Libyan custody

* Former spy chief accused of killings, linked to airliner bombings

* International Criminal Court also wants Senussi for trial

By Ali Shuaib

TRIPOLI, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Muammar Gaddafi's former spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi was taken into Libyan government custody on Wednesday after being extradited by Mauritania to face charges of crimes against humanity, officials said.

Senussi, among the most feared members of Gaddafi's regime before rebels toppled it last year, was captured in the West African state in March, triggering a tug of war between Libya, France and the International Criminal Court for his extradition.

"The office of the prosecutor general has received Senussi and he will undergo a number of medical tests. Soon he will also undergo interrogation for the cases he has been charged with," prosecutor general spokesman Taha Ba'ra told Reuters.

A heavily bearded Senussi, recognisable from his characteristic tightly curled hair, was shown in a press photograph getting out of a helicopter in Libya. Smiling slightly, a soldier stood behind him steadying him on the steps.

His extradition came after a high-level Libyan delegation, including the justice minister and army chief of staff, visited Mauritania on Tuesday and, a Mauritanian government source told Reuters, gave guarantees concerning Senussi. It was not clear if there was a court decision sanctioning the extradition and the source declined to specify the nature of the guarantees.   Continued...

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