Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Thursday issued a second warrant of arrest for a Libyan National Army (LNA) commander, Mahmoud al-Werfalli, who is wanted on accusations of executing dozens of prisoners.
The Hague-based court said it had reasons to believe that Werfalli had personally “shot dead 10 persons in front of the Bi’at al-Radwan Mosque in Benghazi, Libya”, on 24 January, saying it would be the eighth such incident in which he is accused of committing murder as a war crime.
In August last year, the court issued its first arrest warrant for Werfalli for the murders of 33 people in seven other earlier incidents. It said he was accused of either personally carrying out those killings, or ordering the commission of them.
Earlier this year, video emerged which purportedly showed Werfalli personally shooting dead 10 blindfolded prisoners at the scene of a car bombing in Benghazi in January.
In February he handed himself in to military authorities in eastern Libya because of the ICC investigation, but was released a day later, according to a military source.
A spokesman for the LNA said in March Werfalli would not be handed over to the ICC, because of the “integrity and strictness” of the Libyan justice system.
The LNA is the dominant force in eastern Libya. It rejects the internationally recognised government in Tripoli and is aligned with a separate government based in the east.
The ICC has jurisdiction over war crimes in Libya after a referral by the United Nations Security Council in 2011 and has been investigating alleged atrocities there.