March 24, 2011 / 9:15 PM / 8 years ago

McCain says Gaddafi should be tried for "war crimes"

Senator John McCain attends a meeting with Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit in Cairo February 27, 2011. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany

TUCSON, Arizona (Reuters) - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi should be tried for war crimes for “outrageous levels of brutality” he has used to crush opposition rebels, U.S. Senator John McCain said on Thursday.

“I’d love to see him (Gaddafi) in an international court ... for war crimes,” McCain, an Arizona Republican, told reporters at a news conference in Tucson, Arizona.

“I think that would be the best of all results,” he said.

A senior Republican who ran for president against Barack Obama in 2008, McCain added that the Libyan leader’s forces have tried to “repress the anti-Gaddafi rebels with the worst, most outrageous levels of brutality.”

“Committing these crimes against his own people, certainly there’s ample evidence that he has committed war crimes,” McCain added.

He said that there was also evidence of Gaddafi’s direct involvement in the bombing of a Pan Am passenger jet that exploded over the village of Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988, killing 270 people.

“We have additional evidence of his direct involvement in the blowing up of Pan Am 103 which took 190 American lives,” McCain added.

Former Libyan agent Abdel Basset al-Megrahi was the only man convicted in the case. He was released from a Scottish prison on compassionate grounds in 2009 because he was diagnosed as terminally ill with prostate cancer.

Gaddafi has been battling rebels in the North African oil producing desert state, following a popular uprising that began last month.

Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Jerry Norton

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