Last Updated: Thursday, 30 October 2014, 14:31 GMT

Amesys Case: The Investigation Chamber green lights the investigative proceedings on the sale of surveillance equipment by Amesys to the Khadafi regime

Publisher International Federation for Human Rights
Publication Date 17 January 2013
Cite as International Federation for Human Rights, Amesys Case: The Investigation Chamber green lights the investigative proceedings on the sale of surveillance equipment by Amesys to the Khadafi regime, 17 January 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/511cb668a.html [accessed 31 October 2014]
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Last Update 17 January 2013

FIDH and LDH welcome the decision issued on January 15 by the Paris Court of Appeal to allow the judicial investigation, started in May 2012, to proceed.

On October 19, 2011, FIDH and LDH filed a complaint alleging that the French corporation Amesys was complicit in acts of torture by supplying surveillance equipment to the Gaddafi regime, thereby allowing it to perfect the means of repression against its opponents and the population as a whole. In April 2012, the Paris Prosecutor's office had issued an order not to open the investigation, given that the alleged facts could not qualify as criminal acts. The investigating judge appointed on the case delivered a different opinion, deciding instead to open the investigation, precisely because the judicial inquiry would seek to determine whether to hold Amesys and its management criminally liable. The prosecution had appealed this order.

"The Court of Appeal has confirmed that there was sufficient evidence to start investigating in this matter, despite the road blocks erected by the Paris Prosecutor's office, obviously reluctant to allow an impartial and independent inquiry into this matter", stated Patrick Baudouin, Honorary President of FIDH, head of its Legal Action Group and legal counsel at FIDH.

On January 10, 2013, following a mission led by FIDH to Libya, five Libyan victims, through their lawyers, Patrick Baudouin and Emmanuel Daoud, were admitted as civil parties in the judicial investigation. These victims wish to testify before the investigating judge to explain the conditions under which they were identified, arrested and tortured by the Libyan information services.

"The French justice system must now investigate promptly to determine, if applicable, whether Amesys, by giving the Mouammar Khadafi regime the technological means to identify any dissident voice, is guilty of complicity in acts of torture against the population by this murderous regime," declared Michel Tubiana, Honorary President of LDH and counsel for LDH in this case.

The facts:

When Tripoli was liberated, on August 29, 2011, journalists from the Wall Street Journal entered the building where the Libyan regime monitored communications. They found manuals written in English carrying the logo of Amesys, a French subsidiary of the Bull Group.

In 2007 Amesys entered into an agreement with the Government of Libya to make technology available for the purpose of intercepting communication, data processing and analysis.

Agreements for technological cooperation, and more particularly software installation, included not only the supplying of equipment but also a phase of development, assistance and monitoring.

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