TRIPOLI, Oct 21 – No decision has been taken on when or where the body of Muammar Gaddafi will be buried, Libya’s information minister said on Friday, amid lingering question marks over how the ousted despot met his end.
“No decision has been taken on the subject of Gaddafi’s burial,” nor on whether his body would remain in Misrata where it was transported after he was fatally wounded after being captured in Sirte, Mahmud Shamam told AFP.
NTC leaders have been cagey about plans for his burial, not wishing to see his grave become a rallying point for residual loyalists.
At a news conference late on Thursday, hours after Gaddafi’s death was announced, the National Transitional Council (NTC) indicated that the former Libyan leader would be buried at an unknown location after an autopsy.
Gaddafi was captured trying to flee Sirte, his hometown, as NTC fighters raced through to mop up the last pockets of loyalist resistance, and subsequently died of his wounds in circumstances that remain hazy.
NTC leaders claim he was shot in the head when he was caught “in crossfire” between his supporters and new regime fighters soon after his capture at a sewage culvert where he had taken refuge.
However, there is wide speculation he was summarily executed by his captors and UN human rights chief Navi Pillay called on Friday for an investigation, while in London Foreign Secretary William Hague made it clear Britain does not approve of “extrajudicial killing.”
Gaddafi’s body was laid out overnight in a private residence in Misrata – Libya’s third-largest city, which his forces devastated in a protracted siege that proved to be one of the turning points of the eight-month uprising.