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08 December 2023

Gaddafi daughter presses UN to probe father's death

By Reuters

Moammar Gaddafi's daughter has expressed concern that a United Nations commission looking into human rights violations during the Libya conflict is not trying to find out who killed her father.

The circumstances of Gaddafi's killing on Oct. 20 last year remain unclear. Footage of his last moments, bloodied and dazed as his captors dragged him along a road, marked the grisly success of the revolt against his rule, even though many Libyans said they were glad to see the end of a violent dictator.

In a letter sent to the chairman of the UN's commission of inquiry on Libya, a lawyer acting for Gaddafi's daughter Aisha questioned whether investigators were meeting their obligation to probe violations by both sides in the conflict.

The letter said Aisha Gaddafi expected the commission to fully explore the killing of her father, and her brother Mo'tassim, who was also killed after he was captured.

"These murders were witnessed by the whole world and have been roundly condemned by those who champion the rule of law. It is inconceivable, therefore, that the commission of inquiry should refuse to investigate these matters," the letter said.

The lawyer, Nick Kaufman, said the UN investigators working for the commission had conducted dozens of interviews but did not seem interested in testimony from Aisha Gaddafi or other family members.

"You will appreciate my concern that the apparent lack of will to involve my clients in the investigative work of your commission may be seen as lacking impartiality," said the letter, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.

Aisha Gaddafi, her mother Safiya, her brothers Hannibal and Mohammed and other members of the family, fled Libya around the time rebel forces took control of the capital in August. They have since been in neighbouring Algeria.

Gaddafi's daughter, a trained lawyer who was part of the defence team of executed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, has unsuccessfully asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to investigate her father's death.

She has also applied to the ICC to let her submit information on behalf of another brother, Saif al-Islam, but the court rejected her application.

Saif al-Islam, the subject of an ICC arrest warrant on rape and murder charges, has been held in the Libyan town of Zintan since he was captured in the Sahara desert in November, disguised as a Bedouin tribesman.