By Mohamed Ibrahim, freelance journalist
In a recent batch of leaks obtained by the French site; Mediapart - a telling reality is revealed of how former ICC prosecutor Luis Ocampo was hired by Libyan millionaire Hassan Tatanaki on a million dollar deal in 2015. The deal entailed that Ocampo would advise and help Tatanaki on securing a foothold for his “Justice first” vision in Libya.
The immorality on Ocampo’s side for accepting to work so closely with Tatanaki - who had decade long friendships, personal and business related, with the Gaddafis is not at question here. Especially in light of the history of Ocampo at the ICC where he personally indicted Muamar Al-Gaddafi and his son Saif Al-Islam for war crimes.
However what’s more intriguing and revealing is the concern that Ocampo raises with regards to Tatanaki and his close partnership with Khalifa Haftar - a warlord who seeks to consolidate all power across Libya. Ocampo calls him ‘power-hungry’ and displays his frustrations with Tatanaki and Haftar; who according to Ocampo only want peace if it’s under their reign.
Ocampo also shows desperate concerns after one of Haftar’s commanders and right-hand aides on a Tatanaki owned TV-station uttered that those who did not join their self-declared army would be considered traitors and their wives are ought to be raped in front of their eyes. Such remarks from Haftar aligned individuals are not rare; the ICC recently issued an arrest warrant for one of Khalifa Haftar’s commanders - Mahmoud Werfalli who has appeared on videos desecrating corpse, executing prisoners and threatening with slaughter.
All the above and more should raise the questions? Did Libya revolt against one tyrant, only for another to appear?
Many try to rationalize and downplay Haftar’s crimes in Libya. Including those western countries, specifically France, who aided Haftar militarily in Benghazi against revolutionaries. But all the methods and tactics of Haftar and all the patterns that he displays are exact blueprints of Muamar Gaddafi. Others are fond of secular ideas and support Haftar merely for his stance against Islamic groups who seek governance based on Sharia - those often ignore Haftar and his militias’ brutal torture methods, rape-allegations and corpse desecrations.
If one is on one hand waving slogans and banners of freedom & democracy while requesting an alienation of “ancient” or “barbaric” Sharia practices, yet brushing aside the illicit acts perpetrated by Haftar’s forces then that speaks volumes to the sincerity behind such endeavours.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Libya Observer