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France investigates Gaddafi in torture probe

Latest update : 2008-08-12

French legal authorities are examining the case of Ashraf al-Hajuj, a Palestinian doctor, who claims he was submitted to torture and rape whilst in a Libyan jail. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was named, along with others.

French judges are investigating accusations of torture filed against Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi by a Palestinian doctor held in a Libyan jail for eight years, a judicial official said Tuesday.

Ashraf al-Hajuj was held on death row along with five Bulgarian nurses on charges of infecting 438 children with AIDS-tainted blood, until their release in July 2007. The six claim to have been tortured into confessing.

Last year Libya's supreme court converted their sentences to life imprisonment, which together with financial compensation and a promise of stepped-up ties with European countries, paved the way for their return home.

Hajuj filed suit in a French court last December, leading to the opening of an investigation in February for "torture and barbaric acts" and "rape by a person in a position of public authority," the judicial official said.

The French probe targets Kadhafi, five Libyan police officers and a Libyan doctor.

Following his release, Hajuj claimed he had been tortured with electric shocks and with dogs, deprived of sleep and sexually assaulted in jail. He has also taken action against Libya before the UN Human Rights Commission.
  

Date created : 2008-08-12