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TRIPOLI: Ousted dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s last prime minister redirected public funds to support the regime’s armed forces during Libya’s bloody uprising in 2011, a witness in his trial said yesterday.
Former premier Al Baghdadi Al Mahmudi stands accused of killing civilians and of financial crimes.
“Orders for the transfer of ¤15m ($20m) to accounts in Tunisia were given by Mahmudi,” said Mohamed Abubakar Dhib, a former senior official in the Gaddafi regime.
Dhib said the transfer did not go through because of a UN freeze on Libyan assets in place at
Another witness, former foreign minister Abdelati Al Obeidi, said he was unaware of any attempt to redirect public funds.
Mahmudi appeared at the latest hearing alongside two co-defendants, Al Mabruk Zahmul and Amer Salah Tirfas, who managed a trade and investment company run by Gaddafi’s son, Seif Al Islam.
The three are accused of misusing public funds and having aimed to “unjustly kill people” during the 2011 uprising that led to Gaddafi’s ouster and death.
The next court hearing was set for March 18. Along with Seif
Al Islam, Mahmudi is one of the few remaining keepers of the many state secrets of Gaddafi’s regime.
A doctor by training, Mahmudi was loyal to Gaddafi until the end, serving as premier from 2006 up to the final days of his regime, while also overseeing vast fortunes in the oil-rich nation.
Mahmudi fled to neighbouring Tunisia in September 2011 shortly after rebels seized Tripoli and effectively put an end to more than four decades of iron-fisted Gaddafi rule. He was extradited last June.