Interpol issues warrant for Gaddafi spy chief

Interpol said today it had issued an international "red notice" warrant for Libya's ex-spy chief Abdullah Senussi at Tripoli's request following his arrest in Mauritania.

"At Libya's request, Interpol has issued a Red Notice for Colonel Muammar Gaddafi 's former director of military intelligence, Abdullah al-Senussi, for fraud offenses including embezzling public funds and misuse of power for personal benefit," the organisation based in Lyon, France, said in a statement.

It said the request for the 62-year-old was in addition to another Red Notice issued by Interpol at the demand of the International Criminal Court for Senussi in September for crimes against humanity.

Senussi was arrested late Friday at Nouakchott airport as he arrived on a regular flight from Casablanca in Morocco carrying a fake Malian passport.

Both France and the ICC had filed formal requests to extradite him, a security source in Nouakchott said, but Tripoli has insisted that it should put him on trial.

Libya is determined to try the feared former right-hand man of fallen leader Gaddafi and a delegation from the ruling National Transitional Council was expected to visit Mauritania soon to discuss Senussi's handover.

"Interpol has committed itself to supporting Libya's efforts to achieve its goal of rebuilding their country and... their request for an Interpol Red Notice for al-Senussi is a clear demonstration of their commitment to international police cooperation and justice," Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble said in the statement.

"Targeting and arresting those involved in embezzling funds and making them accountable for their actions before the courts will help Libya achieve its goal," he added.

France has requested Senussi's extradition after a Paris court sentenced him in absentia to life imprisonment for involvement in the downing of a French airliner in 1989.

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