Abdullah Senussi

Abdullah Senussi is Muammar Gaddafi’s brother-in-law, married to Gaddafi’s wife’s sister. During the 1980s he was in charge of the internal security of Libya, and currently leads the military intelligence. In 1999 he was convicted in absentia in France for his role in a 1998 bombing of a passenger plane flying over Niger that resulted in the deaths of 170 people. At the time, he headed Libya's external security organization, in which capacity he was said to have recruited Abdel-Basset al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. Like Megrahi, Senussi is a member of the powerful Megarha tribe, based in the Sebha area of the Sahara. It is popular belief in Libya that Senussi is responsible for the 1996 massacre of 1,200 prisoners at the Abu Salim prison, and responsible for an alleged 2003 plot to assassinate Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. He is currently allegedly acting as de facto prime minister of Libya.

In February 2011, following the turmoil which disrupted Tunisian and Egyptian regimes, the Libyan population began to question Gaddafi’s autocratic rule.  The first protests started on 15 February 2011, and within a week had spread all over the country. Gaddafi allegedly responded to the uprising by using military force against civilians. Concerned by these developments, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously on 26 February to refer the Libyan crisis to the International Criminal Court and the prosecutor launched a formal investigation days later. On 17 March 2011 the United Nations approved a no-fly zone above Libya, followed by a series of airstrikes which began on 19 March 2011.

On 4 May 2011, Luis Moreno-Ocampo stated his intention to seek arrest warrants for Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and Abdullah al-Senussi, chief of the Libyan espionage agency.

Mr Moreno-Ocampo stated that the Office of the Prosecutor had gathered evidence on meetings between the three suspects to allegedly plan and order illegal attacks against civilians and protestors. The evidence supporting the request for the arrest warrants was presented to the Court in the form of a 74-page document, with nine annexes. The warrant applications specifically name Gaddafi for the commission of two categories of crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute: murder under Article 7(1)(a), and persecution under Article 7(1)(h).

On 27 June 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber I issued arrest warrants for Abdullah al-Senussi, Muammar Gaddafi and his son Saif al-Islam.  

Abdullah al-Senussi was arrested on 20 November 2011 and is currently in the custody of the National Transitional Council. A decision has yet to be made as to the location of his trial.

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Court Documents
Situation in Libya Decision assigning the situation in Libya to Pre-Trial Chamber I 04/03/2011Situation in Libya Decision on the Prosecutor's Application Pursuant to Article 58 as to Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi anSituation in Libya Prosecutor's Application against Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam and Abdullah Senussi 16/05/2011Warrant of Arrest for Abdullah Al-Senussi
ICC issues Libya arrest warrants ICC Prosecutor launches Libya investigation ICC prosecutor names Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam and Abdullah Senussi as war crimes suspectsICC Prosecutor says crimes against humanity charges against Gaddafi are certain. ICC Prosecutor to brief UN on LibyaRape as weapon of war likely to be added to charges in Libya caseSecurity Council refers Libya to the ICCVideo: ICC prosecutor hopes for Gaddafi arrest