BENGHAZI, Libya - Libyan judge Jumaa Hassan al-Jazwi, who ordered the arrest of Moamer Gathafi's ex-interior minister after he defected to lead rebels last year and died in mysterious circumstances, was murdered on Thursday, his son said.
"My father was killed (today) on his way to afternoon prayers in the mosque of Shaheed Ahmed Sharif," in the eastern city of Benghazi, cradle of the revolt that toppled Gathafi's regime, said Ali al-Jazwi.
A local security official said the judge was killed in a drive-by shooting.
"Those who killed judge Jumaa Hassan al-Jazwi opened fire from their vehicle as he was heading to perform afternoon prayers," said the official who declined to be named.
An official at the Benghazi Medical Centre confirmed the death, saying the corpse had been delivered with "signs of a bullet entering from his right side and exiting through the left."
Jazwi was said to have signed the arrest order for General Abdel Fatah Yunes, who was summoned for questioning from the front line in the city of Brega last July and killed in mysterious circumstances.
Interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil said afterwards that Yunes was killed by an armed group on his way to questioning in Benghazi.
Other officials of the then-rebel leadership issued differing statements on the circumstances of his death against a backdrop of public anger and tension.
Yunes was part of the group that helped bring Gathafi to power in 1969.
He defected in February 2011 to join the popular uprising that escalated into a NATO-backed rebel insurgency that led to Gathafi's ouster and death.
Yunes, who became the commander in chief of rebel forces, was viewed with suspicion by some for switching sides and delivering no major victories.
The spokesman of the local council of Benghazi said the judge had been suspected of playing a role in the murder of Yunes.
"He was primary suspect in the case of (rebel) commander-in-chief Abdel Fatah Yunis," Khaled Jazwi, who has no ties with the deceased, said.
Libya's general prosecutor Walid Swany said the judge chaired the panel tasked with investigating Yunes when he was detained and killed last July.
"He was one of the defendants in the case," he said.
Ali al-Jazwi said his father had never been "questioned by anyone over the case" and charged that there had been a "cover up" after the murder of Yunes.