Gadhafi's burial delayed for further investigation

Updated: 2011-10-21 20:23

(Agencies)

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Libyan leaders said it appeared that Gadhafi had been caught in the crossfire and it was unclear who fired the bullet that killed him.

Shammam said a coroner's report showed that Gadhafi was killed by a bullet to the head and died in the ambulance on the way to a field hospital. Gadhafi was already injured from battle when he was found in the drainage pipe, Shammam said.

"It seems like the bullet was a stray and it could have come from the revolutionaries or the loyalists," Shammam said, echoing an account given by Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril the night before. "The problem is everyone around the event is giving his own story."

Shammam said that the NTC was expecting a report from Financial Minister Ali Tarhouni who was sent as an envoy to Misrata on Thursday.

The governing National Transitional Council said interim leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil will formally declare liberation on Saturday in the eastern city of Benghazi, where the revolution against Gadhafi's rule began in mid-February. The NTC has always said it will form a new interim government within a month of liberation and will hold elections within eight months.

NATO's governing body, meanwhile, was meeting Friday to decide when and how to end the seven-month bombing campaign in Libya, a military operation whose success has helped reinvigorate the Cold War alliance.

The UN Human Rights Council established an independent panel earlier this year to investigate abuses in Libya, and spokesman Rupert Colville said it would likely examine the circumstances of the 69-year-old leader's death. He said it was too early to say whether the panel - which includes Canadian judge Philippe Kirsch, the first president of the International Criminal Court - would recommend a formal investigation at the national or international level.

"We believe there is a need for an investigation," Colville said. "More details are needed to ascertain whether he was killed in some form of fighting or was executed after his capture."

"The two cell phone videos that have emerged, one of him alive, and one of him dead, taken together are very disturbing," he told reporters in Geneva.

Mohamed Sayeh, a senior member of NTC, said representatives from the Netherlands-based International Criminal Court would come to a "go through the paperwork."

Sayeh also says Gadhafi's body is still in Misrata, where it was taken after his killing in Sirte. He says Gadhafi will be buried with respect according to Islam tradition and will not have a public funeral.

The ICC did not issue any official comments about Gadhafi, but judges at the court would need official confirmation - most likely a DNA sample from the body - that Gadhafi is dead before they could formally withdraw his indictment.

Gadhafi, Seif al-Islam and former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi have been charged with crimes against humanity for the brutal crackdown on dissent as the uprising against the regime began in mid-February and escalated into a civil war.

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