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Gadhafi's top spy held in Mauritania

March 18, 2012 at 3:39 PM

TRIPOLI, Libya, March 18 (UPI) -- Libyan officials say they want Mauritania to extradite Moammar Gadhafi's former intelligence chief, who had tried to take refuge in that country.

The fallen regime's head spy, Abdullah al-Senussi, has been arrested in Mauritania, The Tripoli (Libya) Post reported.

Nicknamed "the butcher," Senussi was one of the last major figures of the Gadhafi regime to remain at lage.

The spokesman for Libya's National Transitional Council, Mohammed al-Harizy, insisted that Senussi be extradited to Libya for trial. "There are demands from the [International Criminal Court at The Hague] and France to get Senussi, but the priority is to deliver Senussi to Libya," he said.

The Post said Senussi was held at the airport in the Mauritanian capital after flying from Morocco with a false passport. Mauritania reportedly wants to carry out its own investigation before any extradition.

A court in France already has convicted him in absentia for a 1989 attack on a French airliner that killed 170 people, and sentenced him to life in prison.

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