THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – The International Criminal Court on Wednesday dropped its war crimes case against a Libyan general after prosecutors confirmed he was dead.
The decision came more than a year after Libyan officials reported that assailants killed Mahmoud al-Werfalli, a commander in the self-styled Libyan Arab Armed Forces, by opening fire on his car in the eastern city of Benghazi.
The court said judges terminated proceedings against Al-Werfalli after studying evidence that included witness statements, photographs and social media posts.
The judges “considered the death of Mr. Al-Werfalli to be established and, decided that the proceedings against him must accordingly be terminated, and that the warrants of arrest are no longer in effect, ”a court statement said.
Al-Werfalli was wanted by the ICC for his alleged role in executing or ordering the executions of 33 captives in Benghazi in 2016 and 2017. The ICC says the killings were filmed and posted on social media. In 2018, he allegedly shot 10 people dead in front of a mosque in Benghazi.
Libya descended into chaos in 2011 and has become a haven for Islamic militants and armed groups. The same year, the UN Security Council asked the court in The Hague to investigate violence sparked by the 2011 uprising that led to the ouster and death of Libya’s longtime dictator, Moammar Gadhafi.
Human rights activists last year sent evidence to the ICC and called for an investigation into the abuses of migrants in Libya that they said “may amount to crimes against humanity.”