Libya Sentences Seven to Death for Role in Riots
A Tripoli court on Monday sentenced seven people to death for their involvement in last year's bloody riots that Libyan officials said were part of a plot aimed at derailing Moammer Kadhafi’s African unity drive.
Five African migrant workers were among those sentenced to death, the state news agency Jana reported.
It said the People's Court had also sentenced 12 people, including an unspecified number of Libyans, to life in jail. A further 152 defendants were given jail terms of between six months and 15 years.
The remainder of the 331 defendants - mostly immigrant workers from Chad, Ghana, Niger and Nigeria - charged with inciting civil strife and attempting to derail Kadhafi’s diplomatic efforts to unify Africa were acquitted, Jana said.
The trial had been postponed on several occasions, including one hearing that was due to take place on February 23 ahead of an African summit that subsequently endorsed Kadhafi’s plan to set up the African union.
The government blamed Libyans as well as African workers for the violent clashes in Tripoli and the neighboring Zawia city in late September. Officially, around six people were killed in the clashes but immigrants and foreign media said the death toll was much higher – TUNIS (Reuters)
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