Libya: Former justice minister chosen to head new regime

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A MEMBER of the Benghazi city council said the Libyan cities under rebel control have appointed an ex-justice minister to lead a provisional government.

Fathi Baja says opponents of Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi named Mustafa Abdel-Jalil to fill the provisional leadership post. Mr Baja said Mr Abdel-Jalil was chosen by the committees now running the eastern Libyan cities.

On Saturday, Libya's top envoy to the US said Col Gaddafi opponents were rallying behind efforts to form an alternative government led by Mr Abdel-Jalil, who has criticised Col Gaddafi's brutal crackdown on protesters.

It was not immediately clear how much support the proposed provisional leadership commanded.

The former justice minister quit his job last week over the murder of anti-government protesters in Libya.

He later claimed Col Gaddafi had personally ordered the Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people in 1988.

He also said Col Gaddafi will take his own life the way Adolf Hitler did rather than flee into exile or accept defeat.

Mr Abdel-Jalil was one of Col Gaddafi's most trusted allies, but last month he said he wanted to quit after being unable to secure freedom for hundreds of prisoners. The issue of innocent people in jail in Libya had been raised by both New York-based Human Rights Watch and the Gaddafi Foundation, headed by Col Gaddafi's son Seif al-Islam.

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