The Head of the Libyan American Alliance, Esam Omeish, has confirmed that Khalifa Haftar’s lawyers – Levin and Ungvarsky – have decided to withdraw their defense for Haftar for the lawsuits filed in the US, citing lack of communication with the east-based warlord.
Omeish said this step could be related to the fact that the attorneys were unable to convince the court that Haftar had a head of state immunity in Libya, thus; losing hope that they could help the warlord get political immunity or an acquittal sentence in the lawsuits against him.
In the meantime, the Libyan American Alliance and the attorneys of the families of Haftar war crimes’ victims said the massive number of documented crimes committed by Haftar is sufficient for a US court ruling against him, adding that this stance has led to the withdrawal of Haftar’s attorneys, who have believed they won’t be able to contest all the evidence against him and his militias.
The Libyan American Alliance said last week it had received a correspondence from the US Federal Court and Department of State, saying they won’t interfere in the lawsuits lodged at the US courts against Khalifa Haftar.
Haftar is facing lawsuits for killing civilians, causing terror and displacement among civilian communities as well as carrying attacks on hospitals, education institutions and civilian residential areas.
The lawsuits argue that Haftar has a US citizenship and thus; he is an American who shall be bound by US laws. Haftar contracted a team of attorneys from New York in August 2020 to represent him at the Virginia District Court against the lawsuits for war crimes committed during his aggression on Tripoli.