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Lebanon News

No breakthrough in Sadr probe: source

A billboard shows Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, left, and Shiite cleric Imam Musa Sadr is seen on the Zahrani highway, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

BEIRUT: There is still “nothing definite” about the fate of Imam Musa Sadr, who disappeared more than three decades ago, even after a Lebanese delegation met earlier this week with detained former Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sanousi in Mauritania to question him about the case, a source close to the investigation told The Daily Star.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that “the Mauritanian authorities were very cooperative with the Lebanese delegation tasked with probing Sadr’s disappearance; however, the former intelligence chief hasn’t revealed any crucial evidence into the case.”

“The case needs more time; it cannot be resolved overnight,” the source said.

Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour, Lebanese judge Hassan Shami and General Director of Emigrant Affairs Haytham Jumaa left Mauritania Tuesday evening after meeting with a number of officials as part of ongoing efforts to resolve the Sadr mystery.

Mauritanian authorities handed over the late Moammar Gadhafi's spy chief Sanousi to Libya early Wednesday nearly five months after he was arrested for entering the country illegally, state television reported.

Asked if it would be possible for Lebanese officials to question Sanousi again, the source said “this might be possible if necessary,” indicating that the Libyan authorities might themselves investigate Sanousi over Sadr’s disappearance.

Since the uprising in Libya, conflicting reports on Sadr’s fate have emerged. Some have claimed that Sadr’s body was found in Libya, but Lebanese officials have said such reports are baseless.

Sanousi, who was considered one of Gadhafi’s closet aides, was detained in Mauritania after he fled following the ouster of Gadhafi.

At a mass rally held last week by the Amal Movement in the southern town of Nabatieh to commemorate the 34th anniversary of Sadr’s disappearance, House Speaker Nabih Berri said the following two days would be decisive in ending the long-simmering mystery over what happened to Sadr, who vanished during an official visit to Libya in 1978.

Berri and Shiite religious leaders have accused Gadhafi of being behind the cleric’s disappearance.

 

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