Libyan prosecutors plan to charge rebel leaders with national security crimes, seeking to convict as traitors those leading the armed uprising against Moammar Gadhafi that has plunged the country into civil war, officials said Wednesday.
A judge compiling the charges laid out his case against 21 rebel officials who are based in the eastern city of Benghazi, including the National Transitional Council’s head, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil. Defendants will be tried in absentia.
The charges include facilitating foreign intervention in Libya, providing aid and military secrets to the enemy, and seeking to topple Gadhafi’s regime by force.
Judge Khalifa Isa Khalifa told reporters in the Libyan capital of Tripoli that he plans to present the case before a special court presided over by a three-judge panel next week. He said the evidence includes testimony from several witnesses.
The allegations “amount to treason of the homeland of Libya,” government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said. Those found guilty of treason could face the death penalty under Libyan law.
Report by Asha Mathew