- (Photo: REUTERS / Zohra Bensemra)
The burial of Muammar Gaddafi, which was supposed to take place tomorrow at the latest, has been delayed because of further investigation into the way the 69-year-old former Libyan leader died, as allegations emerge that the colonel might have been executed by rebels.
The National Transitional Council (NTC) has also delayed the ceremony in order to find a secure, secret location at which to bury Gaddafi. The secrecy of his burial place is to prevent the colonel's supporters from creating a shrine there.
As last reported, Gaddafi's body is temporarily kept in a cold storage site in Misrata, where it was taken after NTC fighters captured and killed him in his hometown of Sirte on Thursday.
The final moments of Gaddafi's life are shrouded in confusion as conflicting reports have surfaced about exactly how the strongman died and who fired the gun that actually killed him.
The video below allegedly shows the moment when Gaddafi was captured alive. But exactly how he died is still not certain.
Some reports have already suggested that he was executed by revolutionary forces in front of a mob of fighters, but other reports suggest that Gaddafi was killed by one of his own bodyguards, who wished to spare him further humiliation.
According to Al Jazeera, in the hours following Gaddafi's capture, NTC officials and fighters gave differing accounts of what exactly happened.
Presently, some international human rights watchdogs, including the United Nations and Amnesty International, raised concerns that Gaddafi might have been executed, and demanded an investigation.
An international commission of inquiry launched by the UN Human Rights Council is already investigating killings, torture and other crimes in Libya, reported Al Jazeera.
The U.N. human rights office spokesman said in a statement that he expected that panel to look into Gaddafi's death.
"It is a fundamental principle of international law that people accused of serious crimes should if possible be tried," he reportedly said. "Summary executions are strictly illegal. It is different if someone is killed in combat."
Friday, Amnesty International urged the new Libyan authorities to ensure a full, independent and impartial investigation into the dictator's death. The agency said it is necessary to know whether he was deliberately killed in captivity, which would constitute a war crime.
"If Colonel al-Gaddafi was killed after his capture, it would constitute a war crime and those responsible should be brought to justice," Claudio Cordone, Senior Director at Amnesty International, said in a statement published on Amnesty International's website. "Investigating whether or not his death was a war crime might be unpopular. However, the NTC must apply the same standards to all, affording justice even to those who categorically denied it to others."
According to some reports from Sirte, Gaddafi and an escort of bodyguards had attempted to break out of the siege of the city, which had lasted for more than a month.
NATO reportedly said Friday that it had struck 11 vehicles that were among 75 vehicles attempting to force their way out of Sirte, the day Gaddafi was caught. The officials said NATO was unaware that Gaddafi was traveling in the convoy.
Reuters reported that NTC fighters pursued the group and fired at it as they fled. Next, they fought and killed some of the men guarding Gaddafi and took the dictator captive, the agency reported based on accounts of eyewitnesses.
According to reports, Gaddafi's last words were, "Do you know right from wrong?"
The video below claims to show the entire moment of Gaddafi’s capture (GRAPHIC CONTENT):