Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council has announced Thursday that it plans on putting the killers of the former leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi on trial.
Gaddafi died a week ago after he was captured in his hometown of Sirte following a months long manhunt for the former strongman.
Immediately after Gaddafi’s capture, graphic footage was released to international media outlets that displayed a bloodied and weakened Gaddafi pushed around in a mob of rebel fighters. Other footage obtained by the Global Post also showed that the former “king of kings” might have been sodomized during capture.
The capture and ultimate death of Gaddafi led many international leaders, commentators, and human rights organizations to question the circumstances surrounding the former rulers death and to call for investigations into how Gaddafi died.
Last week the NTC maintained that Gaddafi was killed while being shot at during crossfire exchange while rebel forces were transferring the captured leader from Sirte to Misrata.
NTC members said that the death of Gaddafi was “unintentional” and one member even told CNN, “It would have been better for us Libyans, and the whole universe, to capture him and take him to a court and see how a dictator, a bad guy, who killed lots of Libyans and non-Libyan’s be judged in front of a court.”
However, with pressure from the international community, the NTC postponed the burial of the 69-year-old Gaddafi to allow a full investigation into his death.
Gaddafi was buried Tuesday and it appears as though investigations have proven that Gaddafi was in fact executed.
NTC vice chairman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga said today, “Whoever is responsible for that (Gaddafi’s killing) will be judged and given a fair trial.”
Ghoga also said, “I am sure that was an individual act an not an act of revolutionaries or the national army.”
In the Geneva Conventions prisoners of war are the responsibility of the state and must be treated humanely, with their medical needs met.
Thus, to find an individual, as opposed to the military group that handled Gaddafi following capture, accountable for the death of the former leader would likely enable the NTC and its rebel fighters to avert being labeled as war criminals.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin reportedly expressed his disdain for the images of a bloodied and dead Gaddafi that were displayed all over the world.
The Russian PM said, “Almost the entire Gaddafi family was killed. His body was shown on all the world channels. You could not watch that without disgust.”