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Libya wraps up probe into Sadr case

Top Shiite imam Musa Sadr pictured on a banner in Beirut, Lebanon. (AP Photo)

BEIRUT: Investigations into the fate of influential Lebanese Imam Musa Sadr by Libyan authorities are complete and reveal important details of the case, the chairman of Libya’s National Transitional Council said in an interview to be aired later this week.

“Investigations conducted by Libya’s judiciary into the circumstances of missing Imam Musa Sadr and his two companions Sheikh Mohammad Yacoub and journalist Abbas Badreddine in 1978 will reveal for the first time important details,” Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, chairman of the NTC, told Al-Arabiya station in a preview of the interview aired Wednesday.
 
“Investigations have been finalized from our side and we are waiting from the Lebanese authorities to declare the DNA results of a sample of a dead body which is thought to be that of Imam Sadr, and we already provided them [Lebanese authorities] with this sample,” the Libyan official said.
 
A judicial security committee was formed in Lebanon to follow up on DNA tests of the sample from Libya, a judicial source told The Daily Star.
 
However, the source added that Libya was failing to show seriousness about the Sadr case because it previously sent samples from three separate bodies in April that did not match Sadr or his companions. 
 
Sadr, Yacoub and Badreddine disappeared in Libya in August 1978 while on an official visit to the country.
 
In April, Abdul-Jalil said Libyan officials had nearly certain information that Sadr’s remains had been found in a mass grave that had been discovered following the liberation of the capital Tripoli.
 
But Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour responded by saying that Abdul-Jalil’s statements were not accurate.
 
Mansour added that during a recent visit to Libya to follow up on the case, he had agreed with the authorities there not to announce any news on the issue before investigations were finalized.
 
The relationship between Lebanon and Libya had been severed under the late Moammar Gadhafi’s rule over the case of Sadr and but was reversed under the NTC.
 
The full interview with Abdul-Jalil will be aired Friday.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 22, 2012, on page 4.

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