Thursday, October 20, 2011
Muammar Gaddafi’s apparent death from wounds received during the fall of Sirte means a long and complex trial that could have divided Libya and embarrassed Western governments and oil firms will be avoided.
A senior National Transitional Council (TNC) military official said the former Libyan leader died after capture having earlier been injured in a NATO airstrike on a convoy fleeing the town. Earlier reports and rumours of his capture had sparked celebrations across Libya and helped oil prices lower.
Had he been taken alive, there would have been potentially acrimonious debate over whether he should be tried in Libya or extradited to the International Criminal Court, which issued a warrant for his arrest along with his oldest son and spy chief earlier this year.
Any trial might have given the flamboyant, often idiosyncratic Gaddafi a podium from which to harang both Libya’s new rulers and Western powers, as well as potentially try to embarrass them on issues they would rather forget. As Libya was nudged back from international isolation in the last decade, international oil companies signed deals worth billions.
Full story here.