Gadhafi's Daughter Files War Crimes Lawsuit Against NATO

Aisha Gadhafi lost her infant daughter, brother and nephew in an April 30 attack on the Libyan leader's compound.

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Muammar Gadhafi's daughter has filed a war crimes lawsuit in Belgium over the April 30 NATO attack on the Libyan leader's compound, in which her infant daughter, brother and two nephews were killed, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Aisha Gaddafi reportedly filed the complaint under Belgium's "universal competence" law, war crimes or genocide suits can be brought against foreign leaders, as long as a connection can be established between Belgium and the defendant.

Smoke rises after coalition air strikes in Tripoli, June 7, 2011. Credit: Reuters

"We think that bombing a civilian home where a man and three children were living is not part of the mandate given to the members of the United Nations by the Security Council resolutions on Libya, "Luc Brossolet, a French lawyer acting for Aisha Gaddafi, told Belgium's Le Soir newspaper.

On April 30, NATO planes enforcing a no fly zone over Libya bombed Muammar Gadhafi's Tripoli compound, killing Saif al-Arab, his four-month-old granddaughter Mastoura and grandson's Seif and Carthage, both aged two.

NATO says it is bombing Gadhafi's "command and control centres: - including the Bab al-Aziziya compound - to prevent the government from plotting attacks against civilians, in line with its UN mandate.

"The fact that NATO has its seat in the Belgian capital is enough to place the military alliance under Belgian jurisdiction," Brossolet said.

But law expert Francois Dubuisson from Brussels' Free University (ULB) told Le Soir that as an international organization, NATO "enjoys immunity from prosecution."

Under a previous version of the universal competence law, which did not require connections with Belgium to be established, lawsuits targeted then US President George W. Bush and other administration official over the Iraq war, causing significant friction between the US and Belgium. The suits were all thrown out by Belgian magistrates.