The Lawyer of Khalifa Haftar has informed the Virginia court of his client's readiness to undergo interrogation through a closed-circuit starting on November 9, 2021, the head of the Democracy and Human Rights Foundation, Emadeddin Muntasser confirms.
This communication came after multiple attempts to block the depositions, as Haftar's lawyer claimed that requiring him to answer questions would force him to violate Libyan law by disclosing state secrets.
The court had rejected all of Haftar's arguments and allowed the case to move forward.
At the request of Haftar’s lawyer, the interrogation session would be closed and based on a previous court ruling allowing the confidentiality of the deliberations if Haftar's lawyers so requested.
Haftar's lawyers will stick to their client's claim regarding preserving state secrets, and that part of the plaintiffs' statements constitute political interference in the court's conduct and an attempt to exploit them for propaganda, Muntasser says.
The interrogation sessions of the plaintiffs would also continue, but this requires more time due to their large number, and in addition, some of them are present in Libya.
Muntasser expects a possible delay in the final arguments before the jury that the court decided to hold on January 18, 2022, and January 31, 2022, given the new developments in the case, including Haftar’s agreement to appear before the court.
"With Haftar's professed acceptance of being questioned, there will be new possibilities and options for Haftar if he indeed has a chance to avoid any judgment in absentia that the court may issue," he added.
Muntasser urged all concerned and official authorities to be cautious when issuing statements or memos to prevent Haftar from appealing any ruling on the pretext of politicizing the case or using it as propaganda against him.
About two weeks ago, a U.S. judge set a two-week deadline for Khalifa Haftar, who holds U.S. citizenship, to answer questions in a lawsuit accusing him of war crimes.
Haftar is facing multiple federal lawsuits in Virginia accusing him of committing killings and torture in Libya.