Libya denies Gaddafi premier in 'critical condition' after torture in jail


Former Libyan Prime Minister Al Baghdadi Ali Al Mahmoudi smiles in front of his country's national flag before meeting his Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor (not pictured) in Ljubljana on May 6, 2010.



Libya's prime minister denied on Thursday that a former-Gaddafi premier is in "critical condition" after being tortured in jail.

"Al-Baghdadi (al-Mahmudi) is in good health... and is being treated humanely," Prime Minister Ali Zeidan told a new conference, reported Agence France-Presse.

Commander of the National Guard Khaled al-Sherif, who runs the Tripoli prison where al-Mahmudi is being held, also told AFP that the claim of torture is false.

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"Baghdadi al-Mahmudi has not been subjected to any ill-treatment and has been granted his full rights guaranteed by international law and the principles of human rights," al-Sherif said.

According to Reuters, al-Mahmudi was the first senior Gaddafi official to return to Libya for trial when he was extradited from Tunisia in June. His trial began in November for charges of corruption and ordering mass rape during the 2011 conflict that took down Gaddafi.

It was al-Mahmudi's Tunisian lawyer Mabrouk Khorchi who initially said that his client was in "critical condition" on Tuesday after being tortured in jail.

Al-Mahmudi was also visited in prison by a team from the UN following his lawyer's statement.

"While most of the visit took place in the presence of the prison director, UNSMIL had the opportunity to talk to him privately for some time and asked whether he was mistreated. He unequivocally said he was not," the UN Support Mission in Libya said in a statement.