Tripoli, . . .[restrict]7 September 2012:
Shortly before he was extradited to Libya, Abdullah Senussi was questioned in Mauritania by a Lebanese team led by the country’s Foreign Minister about the disappearance in Libya in 1978 of Lebanese cleric Sheikh Musa Sadr.
Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour along with Lebanese judge Hasan Shami and Foreign Ministry official Haitham Joumaa, interviewed the former Libyan intelligence chief last Sunday, Lebanese government sources are reported as saying.
Sadr, along with a colleague, Sheikh Mohammad Yaacoub, and Lebanese journalist Abbas Badreddine, went missing in Libya on 31 August, 1978. They had been invited to Tripoli by Muammar Qaddafi for the annual anniversary of his 1 September coup nine years earlier.
It is widely believed that the three were murdered on Qaddafi’s personal orders after he and the imam had an argument.
Senussi is seen as key to finding out what happened. However, when interrogated by the three Lebanese this week, he reportedly gave no significant information about the case.
A number of Lebanese cling to the view that Sadr and his two companions are still alive and continue to be held in detention in Libya — despite all the anecdotal evidence otherwise, as well as there being no reason at all why post-revolution Libya would not have released them, if they were still alive and in prison.
Among those convinced are Foreign Minister Mansour – “We are certain that Imam Musa Sadr and his companions are alive and will soon be released” he told reporters while in Tehran last month — and the judge who questioned Senussi this week. Judge Shami is a member of the Lebanese government committee tasked with investigating the case.
His similarly bizarre view is based on the fact that there is no conclusive evidence that Sadr is dead. “We believe that Imam Sadr is still alive, because it has been confirmed that the imam did not leave Libya and also because there has been no proof of his death,” Shami said in a TV interview.
It is now being reported in Lebanon that the authorities there there have been informed by their Libyan counterparts that ten Libyans have been arrested and are being interrogated about Sadr’s disappearance. The ten are said to include army officers.
The widely respected Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star today, Friday, reported a Lebanese judicial source as saying: “The arrested officers are not necessarily among those who took part in the kidnapping, but were bodyguards of prominent former Libyan regime figures who are believed to know the fate of Imam Sadr.”
There is, however, no confirmation of any such arrest from the Attorney-General’s office in Tripoli.
The Lebanese team has also asked to interrogate Saif Al-Islam. It is reported in Beirut that their requests have so far met with no reply. [/restrict] [/restrict]