Middle East Eye (MEE) website said on Tuesday that the magistrate judge, John Anderson, at the US Virginia federal court had filed an order that would recommend the principal judge, Leonie Brinkema, to grant a default judgement against Khalifa Haftar in the case of extrajudicial killings of civilians.
MEE said that Anderson had rebuked the Libyan-American national (Haftar), whom he accused of delaying the litigation process by failing to respond to appear in court or communicate with it.
“Despite the gravity of the claims at issue, the defendant has steadfastly refused to sit for a properly noticed and scheduled deposition after several years of litigation,” the judge said in the ruling, referring to Haftar.
The website said the families are seeking compensation under the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991, which allows non-US citizens to seek compensation from individuals who, acting in an official capacity for any foreign nation, allegedly committed torture or extrajudicial killing.
MEE reported the Head of Democracy and Human Rights Foundation, Emadeddin Muntasser, as saying that they are looking at a total judgement exceeding 100 million dollars in all three cases.
“On the same day that Judge Anderson filed his recommendation, he also heard a motion from Haftar’s attorneys to withdraw from representing the military commander. Anderson ruled that the withdrawal would only be approved if Haftar’s lawyer, Jesse Binnall, discloses Haftar’s physical address and indicates he was served by the court and notified that he has 14 days to respond to any judge’s ruling.” The website added.
MEE said that the court had also ruled that Haftar would not be given any additional time, even if he were to obtain a new attorney, confirming that the principal judge, Brinkema, is set to issue the final ruling in this case on 24 June.