Libyans rule out Gaddafi post-mortem

2011-10-22 19:00

Misrata - Military commanders in the Libyan city of Misrata said Saturday that no post-mortem would be carried out on the body of Muammar Gaddafi despite concerns over how the toppled dictator died.

Interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil said an investigation was being conducted into the circumstances of Gaddafi’s killing following his capture, bloodied but still alive, during the fall of his hometown Sirte on Thursday, after several foreign governments and human rights watchdogs posed questions.

But the military leadership in Misrata, where Gaddafi’s body had been stored in a vegetable market freezer overnight and was again put on display for hundreds of curious onlookers on Saturday, insisted the inquiry would involve no autopsy.

"There will be no post-mortem today, nor any day," Misrata military council spokesperson Fathi al-Bashaagha told AFP. "No one is going to open up his body."

His comments were confirmed by two other Misrata military chiefs.

Bashaagha said that the new regime's military commander for the capital, Abdelhakim Belhaj, was expected to travel to Misrata later on Saturday to view the corpse of the man who ruled Libya with an iron rod for 42 years.

But he said there were no immediate plans for National Transitional Council (NTC) chief Abdel Jalil to visit.

"Abdel Jajil did not come yesterday and is not coming today, and for the moment it is not expected that he will come."

The interim leader was in the main eastern city of Benghazi on Saturday visiting some of the wounded from the eight-month uprising that felled Gaddafi.

"Yes," he answered when asked if the circumstances of Gaddafi’s death were being investigated. He declined to take any further questions.

As the rigid, bloodied, yellow corpse of Gaddafi and his son Mutassim lay on dirty mattresses on the metal floor of the glacial makeshift mortuary, hundreds of Libyans were allowed inside to view them.

A man identifying himself as Sadiq said he was only 18 when the former despot took power in 1969.

"All my adult life I lived with this low life, this..." said the 60-year-old, who declined to give his last name, spattering curses against Gaddafi.

"But he is dead and I am happy," he said, laughing.

Read more on:    ntc  |  mustafa abdel jalil  |  muammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  north africa  |  uprisings  |  libya protests
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