News24

Gaddafi 'wanted death, not ICC trial'

2011-10-31 15:21

Misrata - Depressed and worried, Muammar Gaddafi wanted to die in Libya than face trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC), one of his henchmen said of the Libyan dictator's last days.

In June, ICC judges issued arrest warrants against Gaddafi, who was killed on October 20, his son Saif al-Islam and former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, for "crimes against humanity".

For Mansur Daou, former head of internal security services, currently in a Misrata prison, the ICC measure strengthened Gaddafi’s resolve to avoid at any cost facing an international tribunal.

"Gaddafi and his son decided to stay in Libya after the arrest warrants. Gaddafi said 'I would rather die in Libya than face trial and be judged by [ICC prosecutor Luis] Moreno-Ocampo," Daou told AFP in an interview.

"Saif al-Islam and his brother Mutassim wanted Gaddafi to stay in Libya, particularly Saif," who was considered as heir apparent, said Daou.

"But Senussi was pressing Gaddafi to leave the country," he added.

On August 19, National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters reached the outskirts of Tripoli, forcing Gaddafi to flee to his hometown Sirte, where he enjoyed support. Libya's capital fell two days later.

"Gaddafi knew it was over after his troops were pushed out of Misrata," a major hub of the uprising, on April 25, said Daou.

"He became more and more nervous."

Pressure

Gaddafi "was also under pressure because his friends abandoned him", he said naming French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the prime ministers of Italy and Turkey Silvio Berlusconi and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and former British premier Tony Blair.

"He considered them close friends and this got to him," said Daou.

In the Mediterranean city of Sirte, Gaddafi lived first in a hotel, but he moved out in mid-September when NTC forces closed in on the suburbs and almost every night he changed his location for safety reasons.

But his food supplies began to dwindle as bombs rained in on the city, fighting intensified while electricity and water were cut.

"Gaddafi was depressed and very worried. It was unusual to see him like that," said Daou, who was in charge of the deposed leader's security.

Mutassim, who was also killed, was leading the battles in Sirte, while Saif, who is currently on the run, never set foot there and, from August 27, sought haven in Bani Walid, another pro-Gaddafi bastion that fell just before Sirte.

"I have never saw him [Saif] after that," said Daou.

During his last days in hiding Gaddafi read a lot, but did not fight, Daou recalls.

"Gaddafi read books, took notes and slept, while Mutassim was commanding his fighters. Gaddafi did not fight. He was too old," said Daou of the strongman who was 69 when he was killed.

Huge mistake

On October 19, the situation seemed hopeless: The last square in Sirte's Number Two neighbourhood was heavily pounded by the NTC and Nato.

Gaddafi and his remaining loyalists decided to leave, further south towards Wadi Jaref.

"It was a huge mistake. It was Mutassim's idea. There were about 45 vehicles, 160-180 men, some of them were wounded," said Daou.

"Instead of leaving as planned around three in the morning that day, they left three or four hours later because Mutassim's volunteers were poorly organised."

Disquiet has grown internationally over how Gaddafi met his end after NTC fighters hauled him out of a culvert where he was hiding following Nato air strikes on the convoy in which he had been trying to flee his falling hometown.

Mobile phone videos showed him still alive at that point.

Subsequent footage showed a now-bloodied Gaddafi being hustled through a frenzied crowd, before he disappears in the crush and the crackle of gunfire can be heard.

NTC leaders are adamant he was shot in the head when he was caught "in crossfire" between his supporters and new regime fighters soon after his capture.

Comments
  • Jacques - 2011-10-31 15:40

    how nice to know that even in this century wishes still come true.

  • Thulebona - 2011-10-31 15:54

    He just didn't know that these bastards would tear him apart like that

  • Pitchblack - 2011-10-31 16:02

    Killing Brother leader was the intention of the west from Day 1 of the bombings. They new if Gaddafi survived and trialed...he was going to expose the US and European gangsters. Its sad that Gaddafi genuinely thought Nicolas Sarkozy,Tony Blair, Silvio Berlusconi, etc where his friends. Let it be a lesson to other Non-white leaders...Never be friends with your enemy (whites)

      Ramo - 2011-10-31 16:27

      Well Said Pitch Black to pigs will never be trusted...

      Ron - 2011-10-31 16:41

      Savages that's all they are, including you two above...

      Barry - 2011-10-31 17:34

      @Ron. You don't have a clue do you ? Brain washed by the USA and NATO hey ?

  • marco.tomaso - 2011-10-31 17:08

    If Saif had been able to escape into a neighbouring country like Niger then he would've been handed over to the ICC anyway.Pressure from America in particular would've made any SAFE HAVEN country hand both Gaddafi or Saif over to the ICC. Any airplane flown by mercenaries flying Gaddafi or Saif to a safe haven country would have been shot down by NATO.NATO's objective was to "get Gaddafi and his Regime members by any means necessary" which meant as we know the termination of Gaddafi.Gaddafi unlike Assad of Syria had no friends in the Region he could turn to for help.Assad at the minute has Lebanon,Iraq and Iran who can help him if NATO attack Syria. The ICC Mandate also stipulated that no specific undertaking of Saif Islam were to be taken.Meaning that should he not be prosecuted or that his trail outcome should be as either this,that or the other were never going to be on the cards.No bail were to be given either pending a trail of this magnitude.His trail was to be as transparent as possible and not subject to any behind the scenes deals between politicians aswell. Trouble is that Saif is a Libyan national and meant that because Gaddafi did not signed up or ratified the Rome statue of the ICC,the NTC could now question the legality of the ICC.A highly controvertial issue for African countries as a whole 'cause the UN Security Council has reserved the power to REFER the treaty based ICC if places like Libya have not ratified the statute and hence weren't party to it.

  • Frank - 2011-10-31 17:21

    It's all about oil...

      Barry - 2011-10-31 17:35

      100% correct.

      Alan - 2011-10-31 18:24

      Margie, probably the fact that he was going to massacre a lot of people.

  • Alan - 2011-10-31 17:40

    2% of the world's oil is not going to make much of a dent. If there was no intervention and the rebels were allowed to be massacred along with the follow up vengeance of a madman I'm sure that most of you would be criticising that as well. Quite frankly this was a mad dog that had to be put down. I just hope that the next regime does not have rabies too.

      Barry - 2011-10-31 17:45

      @Alan. 2% of the worlds oil was worth it.

  • Justus - 2011-10-31 18:43

    There are too many black racists in this country (ie pitchblack) Anyone knew he was a dictator who did not think twice to use his military might to bomb his own people (civilians) just because they want to get rid of him. How can you use artillery and tanks to shoot in the direction of cities, without caring where the bombs fall or who it kills, just to stop people from rising up against your tyranny. Think like a normal person pitchblack!

      Barry - 2011-10-31 21:18

      Dictator ? yes. Cared for the people ? yes. Destroyed the country ? No. USA and NATO took care of that. FOR THE OIL

      Alan - 2011-10-31 21:27

      Barry, you're obviously not Libyan. Don't you wander why so many of the cared for Libyans stood up and rebelled against this caring dictator? Looked after some people maybe, all, definitely not. One rule with him, love me or die.

      MagdaKus - 2011-10-31 21:57

      And to think if he had not given the orders to shoot his own people there was a good chance he would still be in power (seeing they started by protesting peacefully). Barry- when my family was in Libya when I was a youngster (1978-83) the guy was paranoid and not 100%, now all the absolute power did not improve him with age. If he he cared for his people that was a very narrow definition of who "his people" were- perhaps only his particular tribe, perhaps only his family.

      Barry - 2011-11-01 20:44

      @Alan. They stood up because they got paid to do so. Ever think of that ?

      Alan - 2011-11-02 14:00

      Sorry Barry, the track record of this guy was far too dodgy. Civilians against professionally trained soldiers - maybe money made them stupid. But their lives were so easy under Gaddafi and they were so well looked after - the payout must have been brilliant.

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