U.S. files charges over dead Libyan ambassador

Published August 7th, 2013 - 07:58 GMT
(U.S. Department of State)
(U.S. Department of State)

Almost a year after U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens was killed in an attack in Libya’s Benghazi, the U.S. Justice Department has reportedly filed criminal charges.

According to U.S. media reports on Tuesday, the charges – which are under seal - would be the first from the investigation into the attack in Benghazi on a U.S. mission.

The attack killed U.S. ambassador to Libya Stevens and three other Americans.

CNN, citing people briefed on the matter, said the charges were against Ahmed Khattalah, the leader of a Libyan militant group suspected of being behind the attack.

The Wall Street Journal, citing “people familiar with the matter,” also reported charges had been filed, but did not specify against whom.

It was not clear how many people had been charged and what the charges were, according to Reuters news agency.

The Obama administration had been criticized for failing so far to bring charges over the incident, in which dozens of heavily-armed militants overran the mission and a nearby CIA annex on September 11, 2012.

Republican Representative Darrell Issa, an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama’s administration, said in a statement reported by Reuters that it is “critical” that anyone being charged “be questioned and placed in custody of U.S. officials without delay.”

The Justice Department has said in a statement that it had no comment on the reports by CNN and the Wall Street Journal, but that its investigation was ongoing and remained a “top priority.”

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