Libyan PM insists citizens must be tried in Libya

RABAT (AFP) - Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan insisted on Tuesday that Libyan citizens must be tried in their own country, days after US special forces captured a suspected Al-Qaeda leader in Tripoli.

Earlier, the Libyan government said it had summoned US ambassador Deborah Jones to seek clarification about the raid on Saturday, in which Abu Anas al-Libi was snatched from his car in broad daylight.

"We insist that Libyan citizens must be tried in Libya, and Libya will not deliver its citizens abroad for trial," Zeidan told reporters in Rabat, at the end of an official visit to Morocco.

But he said Libya valued its "important" relationship with the United States, "which has helped us since the start of the revolution," adding: "Our concern about our citizens is another duty and responsibility."

On Sunday, Tripoli said it had demanded an explanation from Washington over the "kidnap" of one of its citizens.

Libi - whose real name is Nazih Abdul Hamed al-Raghie - was on the FBI's most wanted list with a US$5 million (S$6.2 million) bounty on his head for his alleged role in the 1998 twin bombings of two US embassies in East Africa.

The attacks on the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed more than 200 people, were Al-Qaeda's first major attack.

Libi is reportedly being held aboard a US naval ship in the Mediterranean.

Separately, ousted Libyan strongman Muammer Gaddafi's son Seif al-Islam is currently being tried in Libya for his alleged role in suppressing the revolt two years ago, despite his indictment by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes.

Ex-rebels are holding him in the western Libyan town of Zintan, despite repeated efforts by the central authorities in Tripoli to negotiate his transfer to the capital, and amid concerns among international rights groups about Libya's ability to ensure a fair trial.