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 Libya’s Interim Leaders to Investigate Qaddafi’s Killing

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PostSubject: Libya’s Interim Leaders to Investigate Qaddafi’s Killing   Libya’s Interim Leaders to Investigate Qaddafi’s Killing Icon_minitimeTue Oct 25, 2011 4:42 am

The leader of Libya’s interim government announced the creation of a formal committee of inquiry on Monday to examine the circumstances of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s death last week.

In his announcement, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, chairman of the Transitional National Council, acknowledged that pressure from foreign powers and rights groups — including some that have supported the rebellion against Colonel Qaddafi — had prompted the decision to investigate how the Libyan leader wound up dead with a bullet to the head.

But it was unclear how much authority the committee would have cheap jerseys or whether anyone would be held accountable. Mr. Abdel-Jalil hinted that the fatal shots might have come from Colonel Qaddafi’s supporters. That suggestion is sharply at odds with the video evidence that surfaced after his death.

The grisly images established that Colonel Qaddafi’s was killed shortly after fighters seized him on Thursday. His capture followed a NATO airstrike on an armed convoy that was leaving Surt, his hometown, where he had spent two months as a fugitive after the fall of Tripoli. cheap soccer jerseysOne of his sons, Muatassim, also was captured and killed, apparently while in custody.

The videos showed victorious fighters manhandling Colonel Qaddafi, who appeared to be bleeding and in distress but conscious, after they pulled him from a large drainage pipe where he had hidden after the NATO assault. Subsequent video showed his bruised corpse, with at least one bullet wound to his head.

Transitional National Council members have said that Colonel Qaddafi was killed during a gunfight between his captors and Qaddafi loyalists. But the videos cast doubt on that explanation.

“In response to international calls, we have started to put in place custom made jerseys a commission tasked with investigating the circumstances of Muammar Qaddafi’s death in the clash with his circle as he was being captured,” Mr. Abdel-Jalil told journalists in the eastern city of Benghazi, the birthplace of the revolution that ousted Colonel Qaddafi.

On Sunday, Mr. Abdel-Jalil formally proclaimed to thousands of revelers in Benghazi that the revolution was officially over. The announcement laid the basis for elections and a new government within 20 months, but left unanswered the challenge confronting the interim leaders over how to disarm and unify the anti-Qaddafi fighters who are a law unto themselves. Mr. Abdel-Jalil also suggested that Islam would be the legal basis for the state.

Libyans have been celebrating Colonel Qaddafi’s death, but Mr. Abdel-Jalil said many were disappointed that the former leader would not stand trial for the crimes committed during his brutal 42-year rule.

In offering a possible new explanation for the death, Mr. Abdel-Jalil mlb jerseys cheap suggested that Colonel Qaddafi’s supporters feared he would have implicated them in his atrocities if he had survived and gone to trial.

“Let us question who has the interest in the fact that Qaddafi will not be tried,” he said. “Libyans want to try him for what he did to them, with executions, imprisonment and corruption. Free Libyans wanted to keep Qaddafi in prison and humiliate him as long as possible. Those who wanted him killed were those who were loyal to him or had played a role under him. His death was in their benefit.”

The new theory appeared to be an attempt to deflect questions about the government’s handling of Colonel Qaddafi’s final moments.

There was no immediate comment on Mr. Abdel-Jalil’s announcement cheap nfl jerseys from the brigade of fighters credited with capturing both Colonel Qaddafi and his son and bringing their bodies to Misurata. The city suffered enormously from attacks by Colonel Qaddafi’s forces during the height of the revolution.

Authorities in Misurata have put the bodies on display in a cold-storage meat locker while they have argued over where and when to bury them. The Associated Press quoted a local military spokesman, Ibrahim Beitalmal, as saying that the burial was likely to take place on Tuesday. He said Colonel Qaddafi and his son would be interred in unmarked graves in a secret location to avoid vandalism.

In Surt, new evidence was emerging that anti-Qaddafi fighters had committed widespread reprisal killings after Colonel Qaddafi’s death. Dozens of bodies lay outside a Surt hotel, where the monikers of at least 10 anti-Qaddafi militias were scrawled on the walls. The hands were bound on many of the bodies, and they appeared to have been shot in the head. A number of homes were also burning, apparently pillaged by Colonel Qaddafi’s opponents.

Over the weekend, another Qaddafi son, Seif al-Islam, who remains at large, vowed from an undisclosed location to avenge his father. “We continue our resistance,” he said in an audio message broadcast by Al Arrai, a Syrian television station that had also broadcast Colonel Qaddafi’s screeds against his enemies while he was a fugitive.

“I’m in Libya, alive, free and intend to go to the very end and exact revenge,” the message said. “I say go to hell, you rats, and NATO behind you. This is our country; we live in it, and we die in it and we are continuing the struggle.”

Mr. Abdel-Jalil was flanked at the news conference in Benghazi by former rebel officers, and much of it involved reassurances that the needs of the veterans would be met in the new Libya.

“Most of the fighters have not received their salaries yet,” the leader complained at the outset. “With God’s grace, their reward will be great from God.”

The heavy emphasis on the fighters who helped bring down Colonel Qaddafi was an acknowledgment of the sway those armed factions hold in a country bristling with weapons and starting from scratch. There were also suggestions at the news conference that anti-Qaddafi veterans would play an unspecified leading role.

As in his speech on Sunday, Mr. Abdel-Jalil made no mention of NATO’s contribution, nor that of the United States. The theme was that of a homegrown victory and of a nation now free to choose its own path, regardless of international desires.

That notion was emphasized in renewed mentions of the need to establish Islam as a foundation for the new Libya. Mr. Abdel-Jalil said, in an echo of the theme from his Sunday remarks, that “the Koran is the higher constitution for all Muslims.”

But he also deliberately sought to reassure audiences abroad. In response to a question from a reporter, he said that “we as Libyans are Muslims, but we are moderate Muslims.”
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