by Staff Writers
Tripoli (AFP) Nov 7, 2012
A Libyan military court on Wednesday ordered the execution of five army officers, who were being tried in absentia, on charges of indiscriminate shelling of civilians and of rape during the 2011 conflict.
The court in the eastern city of Benghazi also handed down 10-year prison terms to three soldiers charged with rape, who were present at the hearing, the official LANA news agency reported.
Colonel Gaith Isbaa, Colonel Saad Abdel Rahman, Lieutenant Colonel Altaher Mohammed, Captain Khaled al-Akremi and First Lieutenant Mohammed Mohammed were condemned to death by firing squad.
This is the first time a court has issues the death penalty since the NATO-backed rebel uprising that toppled veteran dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
Rights organisations maintain that Libya's justice system is in urgent need of reform, with thousands of detainees held without process. Only a handful of Kadhafi-era officials are currently being tried in civilian courts.
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