Conflict & Justice

Ahmed Ibrahim, former Libyan education minister, sentenced to death

A Libyan court convicted former minister Ahmed Ibrahim on Wednesday of murder and plotting against protesters, making him the second Muammar Gaddafi loyalist to face a death sentence in the past few days.

A court in Misrata convicted him of the kidnapping and murder of six members of the same family, the Associated Press said.

He held many high-ranking positions under Gaddafi, including the education and information minister; prosecutors also charged Ibrahim with spreading lies on radio and organizing gangs to fight the rebels.

Ibrahim is the first government official to face the death penalty.

The court found him guilty of killing Moftan Sadiq el-Sofrani after kidnapping him from a hospital, the AP said, and then orchestrating the same fate for five of his relatives.

Rebels captured Ibrahim as they pursued Gaddafi during a civil war that ended with the autocrat’s death in October 2011.

Ibrahim can appeal his conviction to the supreme court of Libya, which must confirm the death sentence.

The same court sentenced Masnour Al-Daw Gaddafi to death a few days ago. He was related to the dictator and was a former security chief, the AP said.

Libya’s fragile government is attempting to assert control over a country the remains fractured after 42 years of Gaddafi rule.

To demonstrate its control, the new government is trying to form a constitution this year, Reuters reported.

The government is also attempting to try as many former Gaddafi family members and loyalists as possible, in Libya, to prove they must answer to their crimes.

However, there are concerns among human rights activists that trials in Libya won't meet international standards, Reuters said.