TRIPOLI - Future ties between Libya and Mauritania will depend on Nouakchott's decision concerning the extradition of dead dictator Moamer Gathafi's ex-spy chief, Libya's leader warned on Tuesday.
"The decision to be taken by brothers in Mauritania regarding Abdullah al-Senussi will be the basis of future relations between Libya and Mauritania," Mustafa Abdel Jalil, head of Libya's ruling National Transitional Council, was quoted as saying by the official LANA news agency.
Abdel Jalil accused Senussi, who was the head of the intelligence service during Gathafi's regime, of being behind the massacre of more than 1,200 prisoners in Tripoli's Abu Salim prison in 1996.
"The evidence and testimony at our disposal shows that it was he who set this massacre in motion," Abdel Jalil said.
He expressed hope that the "Mauritanian government and its people take into consideration the feelings of Libyans with respect to this defendant" and that he be held responsible "for all the tragedies in the country, particularly the massacre at Abu Salim."
The Libyan ruler called on the "government, the opposition and the Mauritanian people to act in favour" of Senussi's extradition.
Senussi, the feared former right-hand man of Gathafi, has been charged with using false travel documents to enter Mauritania illegally on March 16 on a flight from Casablanca.
He was arrested at Nouakchott airport, prompting several requests for extradition from Libya, France and the International Criminal Court.
In March, Libya declared it had obtained Nouakchott's nod for delivering Senussi, but Mauritania has yet to make an official announcement.
Senussi, Gathafi's brother-in-law, is wanted by the ICC for being an "indirect perpetrator of crimes against humanity, of murder and persecution based on political grounds" in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi where the anti-Gathafi uprising erupted last year.
He is also the target of another international arrest warrant after a Paris court sentenced him in absentia to life imprisonment for involvement in the downing of a French UTA airliner over Niger in September 1989.
Gathafi was ousted and killed in the uprising last year.