Libya’s military prosecutor has called for halting the candidacy of warlord Khalifa Haftar and Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of former strongman Muammar Gaddafi, for the country’s presidential elections, according to local media.
Libya al-Ahrar TV said military prosecutor Masoud Erhouma submitted a request to Emad Al-Sayeh, the head of the High National Elections Commission, asking for halting the candidacy of the two men.
The prosecutor asked the two presidential hopefuls to appear before him to answer accusations of murder against them.
In his request, Erhouma said a lawsuit was filed against Gaddafi and Haftar related to the killing of civilians in Espiaa town, south of Tripoli, by Russian Wagner mercenaries.
In his failed attempt to capture Tripoli between April 2019 and June 2020, Haftar was assisted by the Wagner group where massacres were reported against Libyans, including the killings in Espiaa.
The military prosecutor, however, didn’t specify the link of Saif al-Islam to the killings in Espiaa.
He added that Haftar is also accused of killing 63 illegal migrants in Tajoura town, east of Tripoli, in July 2019, two Libyans in a shelling on the northwestern al-Zawiyah city in Dec. 2019 and 26 students in an attack on a military academy in Tripoli on Dec. 2020.
As of Sunday, 61 candidates applied to run in the Dec. 24 presidential elections, including Haftar and Saif al-Islam.
Libya’s presidential and parliamentary elections are set to take place on Dec. 24 under an UN-sponsored agreement reached by Libyan political rivals during meetings in Tunisia on Nov. 15, 2020.
The oil-rich country’s electoral commission on Nov. 8 opened registration for candidates in the polls despite ongoing tensions between the parliament, the High Council of State, and the unity government regarding electoral powers and laws.
Libyans hope that the upcoming elections will contribute to ending an armed conflict that has plagued the oil-rich country for years.