US denies lawyer for abducted al-Libi
The refusal came after some US defense lawyers from the Federal Defenders of New York demanded to be allowed to represent al-Libi, arguing there is no legal basis for holding him “offshore” on a navy vessel.
However, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan claimed it was premature because the Libyan man has not apparently been formally arrested.
“The government denies that any federal criminal arrest has taken place, and there is no evidence to the contrary,” wrote Kaplan.
Kaplan also said even if an arrest is made, the appropriate time to assign counsel would depend on the first court appearance.
Al-Libi was abducted over his alleged involvement in the 1998 twin bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and is believed to be held in military custody and interrogated on board a navy ship, the USS Antonio, in the Mediterranean.
According to a law enforcement source, authorities in New York have not indicated when or if he might be brought to the US.
Kaplan said that the Federal Defenders have expressed concerns about the legality of the man’s detention but added that the matter is outside his jurisdiction.
Officials say al-Libi has not been Mirandized, and is facing open-ended interrogation on the ship without access to a lawyer.
Even US Secretary of State John Kerry last week defended al-Libi’s abduction as “legal” and “appropriate.”
Dr. Randy Short, an American human rights activist, who talked Thursday to Press TV on the arrest of al-Libi, said “I am just intrigued that the same government that funded al-Qaeda to destroy Libya” and “the same government [that] funds and supports al-Qaeda which is fighting and killing people in Lebanon and in Syria now goes back retroactively and attack someone who may have even been in their service”.