Libyan to sue NATO over family deaths

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - 23:48

Brussels: A Libyan will seek damages
against NATO in a Belgian civil court, accusing the alliance
of killing his wife and three children in an air strike, his
lawyer said on Wednesday.

Khaled Hemidi says his wife and children were killed
in a bombing west of Tripoli on June 20 that had targetted his
father, Khuwildi Hemidi, who is close to the regime of Libyan
leader Muammar Gaddafi and escaped unharmed.

NATO said at the time that warplanes had struck a
high-level command and control centre in Sorman, 70 kilometres
from Tripoli.

The regime charged that 15 people, including three
children, were killed, but NATO insisted that the target was
of military nature and that it goes to great lengths to avoid
civilian casualties.

Hemidi will file a lawsuit against NATO in Brussels
today over the deaths of this 34-year-old wife Safae, his two
daughters, ages four and five, and his three-year-old son, his
lawyer Ghislain Dubois said.

"The action is based on civil wrong due to NATO`s
violation of the UN mandate, under Resolution 1973, which was
aimed at protecting civilians," Dubois said.

The lawsuit will be filed in a court in Brussels
because NATO`s headquarters are located in the Belgian
capital. The first court hearing would take place seven to 10
days later, the lawyer said.

Dubois will seek an initial compensation of 100,000
euros for his client before seeking more, yet to be specified
damages.

The Sorman bombing came after NATO admitted that one
of its missiles went astray in a Tripoli bombing that the
regime said killed nine civilians.

The Tripoli blunder was criticised by Italian Foreign
Minister Franco Frattini who then called for a suspension of
hostilities in Libya.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - 23:48

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