BEIRUT: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s agents assassinated Lebanese influential Shiite cleric Imam Musa Sadr and buried him in the southern city of Sabha, Gadhafi’s associate Abdel-Monem al-Houni said in remarks to be published Wednesday.
Houni, a former colonel who along with a group of officers aided Gadhafi in his September 1969 coup to oust the then-governing monarchy, said his brother-in-law former Lieutenant Colonel Najemeddine Yazeji was tasked with transporting Sadr’s body to Sabha for burial.
In remarks to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat, Houni said Yazeji, Gadhafi’s former private jet pilot, was in turn killed shortly after by Libyan intelligence officers to prevent the disclosure of any information concerning Sadr’s case.
Lebanon’s Judicial Council indicted in 2009 Gadhafi and 16 of his aides in the case and a trial date for has been set for March 2011. Ties between Libya and Lebanon have been cold ever since Sadr’s disappearance in 1978.
The Libyan regime denies the allegation and claims that Sadr left the country for Italy. In 2006, Italy completed probes in the Sadr case and concluded that there was no proof of Libyan involvement.
Houni’s comments about Sadr, the founder of Lebanon’s Amal Movement, come at a time when Gadhafi continues to fight bloody battles against his people to hold on to power.
As of Tuesday, many state and military officials have resigned from their posts and rallied alongside the people after the Libyan leader ordered the military to attack popular protests.
Meanwhile, Lebanese officials, political parties and civil society groups condemned for the second consecutive day what they described as “Gadhafi’s genocide” against the Libyan people and called on the Arab league and the international community to take tangible measures to end war crimes.
President Michel Sleiman underscored the need to resort to dialogue rather than violence in a bid to resolve disputed issues “because confrontational means only lead to further violence and complications.”
Sleiman stressed the importance of preserving the right to freedom of expression, which he said “paves the way for the implementation of demanded reforms.”
In a more explicit statement, the Future Movement parliamentary bloc condemned “Gadhafi’s crimes against humanity” and called on the Arab League to swiftly act to put an end to “crimes against the innocent through tangible and deterring measures.”
“The bloody massacres that Libya is witnessing by Moammar Gadhafi’s regime and family are one of the worst crimes against humanity that the world has seen,” said the Future Movement statement. “The practices of the Libyan regime are condemned, rejected and cannot be tolerated.”
“Our duty calls on us to urge the Arab League to take swift action to put pressure on this regime to stop its practices after the many miseries it caused to its people and Arabs particularly Lebanon,” it said, in reference to the Sadr case.
Lebanese political, media and legal activists also called Gadhafi’s trial before the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and genocide.
“Seeing the massacres the Libyan people are being subjected to by Gadhafi’s militias and his criminal regime we call on the international community to act quickly to end this crime of the century,” a joint statement released by a group of the civil society activists said.
“The Lebanese free people, who look with pride to the Libyan people’s heroic movement in many cities, urge for the trial of Gadhafi and his aides before the ICC and stand united with those who seek freedom throughout the world,” the statement added.
The activists expressed confidence that the Libyan people would emerge victorious against the “war machine that will fail to break the will of the people.”