Over 450 defendants are being criminally tried in Libya, charged with human trafficking and facilitating illegal immigration. The defendants are reportedly being jointly tried in groups of 30. Among the defendants are members of the armed forces, public security, and Navy. The trials are being conducted in special security courts. ANSA reports that the special court proceedings are being used because the conduct has endangered Libyan national security.
According to an article in the Italian magazine Panorama (owned by Silvio Berlusconi (?)), this is the first such trial of its kind in Libya. Apparently, only Oea, a Libyan newspaper (described by Panorama as a non-governmental paper) is being permitted to be present at the trials. An article in Oea describes a comment from a lawyer for one defendant saying that the case was difficult given the large number of defendants and the lack of adequate information.
Panorama describes the trials as a possible signal from Gaddafi and one which reveals what has always been suspected, that there has been complicity between traffickers and Libyan police. Panorama concludes its article by asking whether the trials are genuine or merely propaganda.