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French firm Amesys probed over ‘complicity in torture’

French firm Amesys on Tuesday denied being complicit in torture in Libya, following the opening of a French judicial probe into the firm's activities in Libya under Muammar Gaddafi. The enquiry will also investigate the possibility of war crimes.

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AFP - French technology firm Amesys on Tuesday denied accusations of complicity in torture in Libya after judicial authorities in France opened a probe into its activities under ex-strongman Moamer Kadhafi.

In a statement, Amesys said it "very strongly denies the accusation of 'complicity in torture' and hopes to quickly be able to inform the investigating magistrate of the reality of the case."

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Human Rights League (LDH) said Monday that French courts had opened an investigation into Amesys's activities in Libya after they filed a complaint in October.

FIDH said the case was being investigating by a magistrate charged with probing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide at the Paris high court.

In the complaint the groups accused Amesys, a subsidiary of French technology firm Bull, of "offenses committed through the provision to the Kadhafi regime, from 2007, of a surveillance system to monitor communications of the Libyan people."

The system, it said, was aimed at targeting "opponents, arresting them and putting them in prison, where they were tortured."

Amesys said it was ready to "make available all elements deemed necessary by the magistrate for a perfect understanding of the facts."

The company had admitted in September that it supplied Kadhafi's regime with "analysis equipment," but noted the deal was made only after Libya had improved ties with the West and that it did not operate any surveillance.

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