Libyan transition leader declares liberation

continued from page 1

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

“It’s certainly not the way we do things,” Mr. Hammond told BBC television. “We would have liked to see Col. Gadhafi going on trial to answer for his misdeeds.”

Mrs. Clinton told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that she backs a proposal that the United Nations investigate Gadhafi’s death and that Libya’s National Transitional Council look into the circumstances, too.

An autopsy confirmed that Gadhafi died from a gunshot to the head, Libya’s chief pathologist, Dr. Othman al-Zintani, said. However, the pathologist said he would not disclose further details or elaborate on Gadhafi’s final moments, saying he first would deliver a full report to the attorney general.

Libya’s acting prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril, said he would not oppose an investigation, but he cited an official reporting saying a wounded Gadhafi was killed in crossfire following his capture. Addressing the celebrations around Gadhafi’s body, Mr. Jibril told the BBC in an interview on Sunday, “You have to appreciate the agony that people went through for 42 years.”

The 69-year-old Gadhafi was captured wounded but alive Thursday in his hometown of Sirte, the last city to fall to revolutionary forces. Bloody images of Gadhafi being taunted and beaten by his captors have raised questions about whether he was killed in crossfire as suggested by government officials or deliberately executed.

Gadhafi’s body has been on public display in a commercial freezer in a shopping center in the port city of Misrata, which suffered from a bloody siege by regime forces that instilled a virulent hatred for the dictator in Misrata’s residents.

People have lined up for days to view the body, which was laid out on a mattress on the freezer floor. The bodies of Gadhafi’s son Muatassim and his ex-defense minister, Abu Bakr Younis, also were put on display, and people wearing surgical masks filed past, snapping photos of the bodies.

The New York-based group Human Rights Watch, which viewed the bodies, said video footage, photos and other information it obtained “indicate that they might have been executed after being detained.”

“Finding out how they died matters,” said Sarah Leah Whitson of Human Rights Watch. “It will set the tone for whether the new Libya will be ruled by law or by summary violence.”

The Syrian-based Al-Rai TV station, which has served as a mouthpiece for the Gadhafi clan, said the dictator’s wife, Safiya, also demanded an investigation.

“I am proud of the bravery of my husband, Moammar Gadhafi, the holy warrior, and my sons who confronted the aggression of 40 countries over the past six months,” the station quoted the widow as saying in a statement.

The vast majority of Libyans seemed unconcerned about the circumstances of the hated leader’s death, but rather were relieved that the country’s ruler of 42 years was gone, clearing the way for a new beginning.

“If (Gadhafi) was taken to court, this would create more chaos, and would encourage his supporters,” said Salah Zlitni, 31, who owns a pizza parlor in downtown Tripoli, the capital. “Now it’s over.”

The long-awaited declaration of liberation starts the clock on Libya’s transition to democracy. The transitional leadership has said it would declare a new interim government within a month of liberation and elections for a constitutional assembly within eight months, to be followed by votes for a parliament and president within a year.

At the ceremony in Benghazi, Mr. Abdul-Jalil outlined several changes to align with Islamic law.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks