Gadhafi's daughter files lawsuits over NATO raids

Lawyers for Moammar Gadhafi's daughter have filed lawsuits in Paris and Brussels over the alleged assassination in late April of four of the Libyan leader's relatives in NATO bombing raids over Tripoli.

Meeting follows diplomatic contact with Libyan rebel forces

Aisha Gadhafi, daughter of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, filed lawsuits in Paris and Brussels over the NATO bombing raids over Tripoli. (Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty)


  • Rare daytime airstrikes hit Tripoli

Lawyers for Moammar Gadhafi's daughter have filed lawsuits in Paris and Brussels over the alleged assassination in late April of four of the Libyan leader's relatives in NATO bombing raids over Tripoli.

Attorneys for Aisha al-Gadhafi said the complaints do not name a specific defendant, though an official at the state prosecutor's office in Brussels told The Associated Press that the text appears to target the Atlantic military alliance, which is based in the Belgian capital.

State prosecutors said Tuesday that officials are assessing whether the case can be admitted.

NATO aircraft have been leading bombing raids over Libya under a UN Security Council resolution aimed at protecting civilians from Gadhafi's forces.

Meanwhile, China said Tuesday that Libya's foreign minister is visiting Beijing just days after Chinese officials announced they had reached out to the rebel forces challenging Gadhafi.

China appears to be taking small steps to boost its engagement in the Libya conflict after staying on the sidelines for the first few months since the revolt against Gadhafi's government erupted in mid-February.

Libyan Foreign Minister Abdul-Ati al-Obeidi arrives in Cyprus last April. On Tuesday he arrived in Beijing for a three-day visit. (Petros Karadjia/Associated Press)
Beijing has pointedly avoided joining international calls for Gadhafi to step down, saying that is for the Libyan people to decide. It also abstained in the United Nations Security Council vote authorizing the use of force against Libyan government loyalists and has repeatedly criticized the NATO bombing campaign in support of the rebels.  

On Friday, Beijing said the head of Libya's rebel council met with China's ambassador to Qatar in the Qatari capital, Doha, in what was the first known contact between the two sides. China's decision to engage the rebels was a diplomatic setback for Gadhafi.

Rare daytime airstrikes rock Tripoli

Low-flying NATO military craft hit Tripoli in 11 successive attacks on Tuesday in rare daytime strikes on the Libyan capital.

The strikes that shook the city appeared to land close to Gadhafi's sprawling compound, but government officials were not immediately available to confirm the targets.

NATO officials have warned for days that they were seeking to increase the scope and intensity of their two-month old campaign to oust Gadhafi after more than 40 years in power.

NATO is assisting a four-month old rebel insurgency that has seized swaths of eastern Libya and pockets in the regime's stronghold of western Libya.

After some of the strikes, pro-Gadhafi loyalists fired anti-aircraft weapons into the air.

Apparently seeking to reassert the Libyan government's influence, Foreign Minister Abdul-Ati al-Obeidi arrived Tuesday in Beijing for a three-day visit.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters at a regular briefing that talks with al-Obeidi would focus on the need for a political solution to the Libyan crisis.

He also reiterated China's appeals for an immediate ceasefire and called on all parties to "fully consider the mediation proposals put forward by the international community so as to defuse the tensions as soon as possible." 

Asked if China was hoping to act as mediator between the Libyan government and the rebels, Hong sidestepped the question, responding, "China is working along with the international community to resolve the Libyan crisis politically."

The director of the Institute of African Studies at the state-run Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing said the Chinese government wants to play the role of mediator.

"China hopes to get to know the current situation in Libya and the positions of both sides," He Wenping said. "As to which side China might support in the end, I wouldn't want to make any prediction," she said.