Lebanon News

Berri: Libya hesitant to uncover former regime crimes

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri heads a session at the Parliament in Beirut, Wednesday, May 21, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Speaker Nabih Berri Saturday said Libyan authorities have been hesitant to disclose secrets of the former regime’s crimes, insisting Lebanon has made some progress, albeit minor, to uncover the truth behind the case of Imam Musa Sadr.

In a statement published on his Facebook page, Berri responded to people's questions about the case of the Imam who went missing during a visit to Libya on Aug. 31, 1978, along with his two companions – Sheikh Mohammad Yacoub and journalist Abbas Badreddine.

“An official Lebanese-Libyan governmental committee was formed and that committee has not spared any effort with the Libyan authorities to reach the truth, despite hesitance by the authorities to expose secret files of the regimes and its crimes,” Berri said in a scanned document on his page.

He said he has called for the creation of a committee to set the rules governing the judicial and security ties between Lebanon and Libya “with the aim of unlocking such doors.”

“Despite the chaos and fighting in various areas in Libya, we were able to sign a memorandum of understanding about cooperation between the two countries,” he said.

The memo, Berri continued, was signed by the Lebanese Ambassador Mohammad Skineh and the Justice Ministry in Libya’s Tripoli.

“It stipulates a clear and honest recognition that the disappearance of the Imam in Libya occurred under the regime of former President Moammar Ghadafi,” Berri said, quoting the memo.

“The Libyan side should commit to speedy investigation in coordination with Lebanese judges and provide the Lebanese side with all documents and information about Sadr’s case.”

It also noted that the work should be kept secret and both sides should refrain from leaking information to the media.

Ties between Libya and Lebanon were severed after Sadr's disappearance in light of Beirut's position that Ghadafi was responsible for the incident. Ghadafi's collapse reversed the relationship with a Lebanese delegation traveling to Libya on several occasions and holding talks with authorities there over the case.





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