Libya — Moammar Khadafy was killed with his favorite golden pistol, a witness said, as Libya’s new rulers Saturday argued over what do with the former dictator’s remains and a key henchman appeared to escape.
Khadafy was carrying the golden pistol when he was captured by Transitional National Council (TNC) fighters in a sewage pipe outside his hometown of Sirte on Thursday, following a NATO airstrike on his convoy, an official told The (London) Times.
“Khadafy was first captured by rebels from the east,” the source said. “Then the Misrata group showed up to take him. The eastern rebels didn’t like this and the soldier pulled Ghadafi’s golden gun and shot him, telling the Misrata guys, ‘You can have him now’.”
The source hailed the young man who killed Khadafy a “Libyan hero,” adding, “We know who killed him. He’s a Libyan citizen, so we’ll protect him. He was under-age, so he can’t go to court anyway.”
The account differs from TNCs official version, which claims the 69-year-old former leader was shot in the head when he was caught “in crossfire” between his supporters and new regime fighters, soon after his capture.
Gruesome cell phone videos made by fighters and transmitted around the world appeared to show a captive Khadafy still alive, and then apparently dead.
It comes as the United Nations human rights office called Friday for an investigation into the circumstances of Khadafy’s death, saying it robbed his victims of a chance at “cathartic” justice in the courts.
Although TNC leaders said there would be in inquiry into Khadafy’s death, military commanders in Misrata said Saturday this would not involve a post-mortem.
As hundreds of curious onlookers queued up to see Khadafy’s body — which was put on display in a vegetable market freezer for a second day Saturday — Misrata military council spokesman Fathi al Bashaagha told AFP, “There will be no post-mortem today [Saturday], nor any day. No one is going to open up his body.”
It remained unclear Saturday what would happen to the former dictator’s body, with some suggesting that it should be returned to his tribe for burial in Sirte and others wanting to bury it in secret.
Meanwhile, Libya’s former intelligence chief Abdullah al Senussi surfaced in neighboring Niger after apparently fleeing through the desert after the fall of Bani Walid on Monday in the penultimate battle of the conflict.
“The presence of Abdullah al Senussi has been indicated in the far north of Niger,” near the border with Libya, a Niger government source told AFP.
Senussi was one of three Libyan officials that the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for on charges of crimes against humanity, along with Khadafy himself and his second son and longtime heir apparent, Saif al Islam.
Saif al Islam remained at large, with TNC officials believing he too may have fled to Niger.