By Ria Novosti
The head of the rebel National Libyan Council said on Tuesday the opposition would not pursue President Muammar Gaddafi for war crimes if he steps down within 72 hours, Al Jazeera said.
Rebels and forces loyal to Gaddafi are in an on-going battle for control over many areas in the east of the country, which the opposition took hold of following mass anti-Gaddafi uprisings in mid-February.
“If he leaves Libya immediately, during 72 hours, and stops the bombardment, we as Libyans will step back from pursuing him for crimes,” National Council head Mustafa Abdel Jalil told Al Jazeera.
He said the deadline, which has been proposed to Gaddafi’s indirect negotiators, would not be extended beyond 72 hours.
“Conditions are that firstly he stops all combat in the fields, secondly that his departure is within 72 hours; thirdly we may waive our right of domestic prosecution … for the crimes of oppression, persecution, starvation and massacres.
Al Jazeera said it had received reports that Gaddafi sent a representative to the rebel-held city of Benghazi on Sunday night to negotiate the leader’s departure on condition that he keeps his assets and avoids prosecution.
Libyan state television denied the reports on Tuesday.
Arab foreign ministers are to hold crisis talks on Friday to discuss imposing a no-fly zone over Libya. The UN Security Council has not yet reached a decision on the issue.
Hundreds of thousands of people are thought to have been killed in fighting in Libya since the first protests demanding the end of Gaddafi’s 42-year authoritarian rule began on February 14.