The New York Times said whom it described as a former C.I.A. asset, Khalifa Haftar, had been accused of torturing Libyans, and some of them tried on Tuesday to use the American court system to fight back.
According to the US-based paper, victims of the military forces led by Haftar hope to use his properties in the United States against him, taking advantage of a little-used American law to accuse him of torture and sue him in federal court in Virginia on Tuesday.
Haftar and his sons own at least 17 properties in Virginia worth a total of at least $8 million, according to the lawsuit, according to the New York Times.
The lawsuit accuses Haftar and his sons of using the so-called “Libyan National Army” to wage an indiscriminate war against the Libyan people, torturing and killing hundreds without any judicial process.
The New York Times said many other suits filed under the act have failed to gain traction because there are few assets for the court system to seize if a lawsuit succeeds, yet the odds are here different as Haftar and his sons own at least 17 properties in Virginia worth a total of at least $8 million, according to the lawsuit.
“The complicated past of Haftar, a dual Libyan-American citizen, makes him potentially vulnerable to legal action in American courts.” New York Times said.
Libyan nationals residing in the United States lodged a lawsuit against Haftar and his backer, the United Arab Emirates, at the US District Court in Washington DC, accusing them of war crimes in Libya.
The lawsuit, which was filed by six Libyan families whose relatives were killed by Haftar’s militias and countries supporting them, accused Haftar of killing and torture outside the law and asked for one billion dollars in compensation.
The lawsuit also accused the UAE of bring well aware of the repercussions of the use of its drones by Haftar’s militias in killing Libyans and destroying their infrastructure.
Libya Alahrar TV has obtained the document of the lawsuit filed by six Libyan families and it said that the defendant Saqr Adam Geroushi, whom it described as a Libyan citizen and Chief of Staff of the Libyan Air Force under the command of Haftar. It added that Geroushi was responsible for ordering aerial attacks.
The document indicated that the defendant, United Arab Emirates (UAE), senior officials working out of the embassy in Washington D.C. and the Permanent Mission at the United Nations, has been allegedly aiding and abetting defendant Haftar and defendant Geroushi in their war in Libya against their political opponents and the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, the capital of Libya.
“The UAE has been allegedly accused of providing and operating drones in support of the defendant Geroushi and the Libyan Air Force, which is a division of Haftar’s forces.” The lawsuit says.
According to the lawsuit, Aref Ali Nayed, who is a Canadian and Libyan citizen and the ex-Libyan Ambassador to the UAE, is the owner of “Libyan TV,” a Libyan television channel which broadcasts throughout Libya and on YouTube and via the channel as well as his company, “Libya TV”, he is promoting Haftar and Haftar’s forces in its broadcasts throughout the country.
“He uses his TV channel to foment discord against the Tripoli government. At all relevant times, defendant Nayed knew what Defendant Haftar’s agenda was, and supported him 100%.” The document remarked.
It also said that defendant Mohamoud Al-Werfalli, who is a Libyan citizen and a high-ranking official in Haftar’s forces, is a field commander in the Al-Saiqa Brigade and is directly responsible for ordering the commission of various war crimes, including extra judicial killings and torture in Libya.