World News | Judge Sets Deadline for Libyan Commander to Answer Questions | todayssnews

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Alexandria, Oct 15 (AP) A US judge has set a two-week deadline for a Libyan military commander to answer questions in a lawsuit accusing him of war crimes.

Khalifa Hifter, commander of the self-styled Libyan National Army, is a defendant in multiple federal lawsuits in Virginia accusing him of killings and torture in that country’s civil war.

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Once a lieutenant to Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, Hifter defected to the US during the 1980s and spent many years living in northern Virginia. He is widely believed to have worked with the CIA during his time in exile.

He still holds US citizenship and still owns extensive property in Virginia.

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Earlier this year, US District Judge Leonie Brinkema rejected Hifter’s claims of immunity and allowed the case to move forward.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs are taking depositions in the case and want Hifter to depose as well.

Hifter, though, has sought to block the depositions. In court papers, his lawyers argue that requiring him to answer questions would force him to violate Libyan law by disclosing state secrets, subjecting him to a possible death sentence.

On Thursday, US District Judge Leonie Brinkema again rejected Hifter’s argument, and set an October 28 deadline for the deposition to take place. AP RAX

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