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Sun Dec 21 19:14:43 SAST 2014

Gaddafi daughter's war crimes lawsuit against NATO dismissed

Sapa-dpa | 27 July, 2011 17:33
Rebels watch the battle area in Al-Qawalish in the western mountains of Libya
Rebels watch the battle area in Al-Qawalish in the western mountains of Libya July 13, 2011.
Image by: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS

Belgian prosecutors have declined to investigate a war crimes complaint against NATO filed by Moamer Gaddafi's daughter, saying that their country's universal competence law does not apply in the case.

The law allows war crimes and genocide lawsuits to be brought against foreign leaders, as long as a connection can be established between Belgium and the defendant.

Aisha Gaddafi filed her lawsuit over an April bombing by NATO planes -charged with enforcing a United Nations-mandate no fly zone over Libya -on Moamer Gaddafi's compound, which reportedly killed her infant daughter, brother and two nephews.

Her lawyer argued that the universal competence law applied because NATO has its headquarters in Belgium.

But a spokeswoman for the prosecution told the German Press Agencysaying that there was no discernible link between the victims or the defendants and Belgium.

She also noted that NATO officials would be protected by diplomatic immunity were they to be targeted by a lawsuit.

Another complaint is, however, in the works.

Belgian lawyer Ghislain Dubois told dpa that he is poised to file a civil lawsuit against the military alliance on behalf of a Libyan man who lost several relatives and his house during a NATO bombing.

He is demanding 100,000 euros (144,000 dollars) in damages.

Dubois said he is optimistic that NATO's mission in Libya could be legally appraised through a civil court.Author: Dieter Ebeling

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