LNA Military Prosecutor Office turns down the ICC appeal
On 17 November, the Libyan National Army (LNA) Military Prosecutor, Gen. Faraj al-Sousa, refused the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) appeal to apprehend the al-Saiqa Special Forces unit commander, Maj Mahmoud al-Warfalli, to stand trial for alleged war crimes. Al-Sousa said they have already cooperated with the ICC concerning a number of alleged war crimes and human rights violations in Libya, and that al-Warfalli was already under domestic investigation in Libya.
On 6 November, the ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, renewed her call upon relevant authorities in Libya to apprehend Saif al-Islam Qadhafi, Maj Mahmoud Al-Warfalli and Al-Tuhami Mohammed Khalid (Qadhafi Libya head of the Internal Security Directorate) Maj Mahmoud Al-Warfalli. Bensouda stated the current cycle of violence and impunity provided a breeding ground for atrocities in Libya. Referencing ”reliable information” Bensouda made known the ICC’s view on the whereabouts of all three suspects: Saif is in Zintan, Al-Tuhami is in Cairo, while al-Waraflli is in Benghazi where he still in command of a Saiqa unit. Bensouda deplored the promotion of al-Warfalli twice since the ICC issued a first arrest warrant against him in August 2017, a second arrest warrant in July 2018.
The LNA Military Prosecutor issued an investigation order of Al-Warfalli in August 2017 following the ICC arrest warrant. However, the court proceedings were never publicized nor ever reached a final verdict. Later in July 2018, Hafter was pressured by the ICC into ordering an immediate arrest of al-Warfalli. However, al-Warfalli resisted the arrest order, leading his fellow soldiers to stage a protest across Benghazi. Despite this, he was apprehended. The LNA is likely to continue in declining the ICC calls of surrendering al-Warfalli. Al-Warfalli remains popular in Benghazi and the LNA’s extradition would likely cause schisms within the local population, as well as outrage on behalf of Madkhalist Salafists within the LNA’s rank and file.