29 June 2012

Tunisia: PM Jebali Says He Informed President of Date of Baghdadi Mahmoudi's Handover

Bardo — Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali said, on Friday in an extraordinary plenary session of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA), that he had informed, by writing and by decree signed by him, President of the Republic Moncef Marzouki of the decision on the date of handing former Libyan PM Baghdadi Mahmoudi over to the Libyan authorities.

Earlier, the Presidency of the Republic had denied having been informed of the date of Mahmoudi's extradition to Libya, and considered Government's decision as having been taken unilaterally.

Speaking at the beginning of the session to the Tunisian people's representatives, Mr. Jebali said: "I did inform the President of the Republic of this decision and I clearly specified to him the date of this handover," i.e., Sunday June 24", adding that he also informed the NCA Speaker.

Moreover, he pointed out that the mission of enforcing the decision fell on Interior Minister Ali Laarayedh and Justice Minister Noureddine B'hiri, indicating not to have personally been involved in the procedures of handing Baghdadi Mahmoudi over to the Libyan authorities.

The Prime Minister reasserted that his signing of the extradition decision was part of his prerogatives and handing of Libya's former Prime Minister was implemented only after having taken the needed care to send to Libya a commission made up of six people--two persons representing the Presidency of the Republic, two representing the Government and two others from civil society--, and to read the said-commission's report, which was signed by five members of the concerned commission, the sixth member being abroad.

Besides, Mr. Jebali said that security and military experts had made it clear to the government that the presence of Baghdadi Mahmoudi on the Tunisia territory represented "a real security burden and a threat to the country's strategic interests."

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