Amesys – two executives

17.04.2023 ( Last modified: 29.03.2023 )
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Ongoing proceedings for aiding and abetting crimes of torture committed in Libya under Muammar Gaddafi’s regime


Type of jurisdiction

Universal jurisdiction



Amesys as a company; two French executives of the company


Country of residence of suspects




Complicity in torture as a result of selling surveillance material to Gaddafi’s regime in Libya


Current status

Under investigation; five indictments issued, two dismissed



In 2007, the company Amesys signed a contract with the government of Libya to provide surveillance technologies for the purposes of intercepting communications and processing and analyzing data. This technology allegedly allowed the Gaddafi regime (1969-2011) to repress dissident voices and to commit serious human rights abuses.



On 19 October 2011, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) lodged a criminal complaint as a civil party beforetheinvestigativejudgesat the Paris Tribunal against Amesys and its management, denouncing their alleged role as accomplices in acts of torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment in Libya, on the basis of universal jurisdiction.

On 26 March 2012, the Office of the Prosecutor at the Paris Tribunal decided that there were insufficient grounds to open an investigation. However, the investigative judges decided on 23 May 2012 to open a formal criminal investigation. On 15 January 2013, the Paris Court of Appeals decided to allow the investigation to proceed.

In January 2013, five Libyan victims joined the proceedings as civil parties. They were heard in June and July 2013 by the investigative judges. Another Libyan victim joined the case and was heard on 11 December 2015. In March 2016, it was revealed that new evidence consisting of dozens of documents from Gaddafi’s security services had come to light, reportedly showing the regime’s extensive use of the surveillance technologies provided by Amesys to track, arrest and torture political opposition.

On 30 May 2017, Amesys was formally assigned the status of assisted witness (témoin assisté) for complicity in torture committed in Libya between 2007 and 2011.

In June and July 2021, two executives of the company, as well as two employees and the company itself, were charged while under investigation (mis en examen) by the investigative judges for complicity in torture.


In December 2021 and January 2022, Amesys and its four indicted executives and employees requested the annulment of the procedure and their indictments.

In November 2022, the Investigative Chamber of the Paris Court of Appeals confirmed the indictment of Amesys and of its two executives but dismissed that of its two employees, dismissing all other nullities invoked.

The defendants appealed the decision before the Supreme Court.

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