Libyan PM: I wish Gaddafi had not been killed

Mahmoud Jibril agrees to investigation, but bigger worries exist as old rivalries begin to surface

BY Ben Riley-Smith LAST UPDATED AT 16:00 ON Sun 23 Oct 2011

AS LIBYANS queue to see the body of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in a meat storage facility on the outskirts of Misrata, the acting Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril has said that he wishes the former dictator had not been killed.

"To be honest with you at the personal level I wish [Col Gaddafi] was alive," he told the BBC's Hardtalk programme. "I want to know why he did this to the Libyan people... I wish I were his prosecutor in his trial."

Gaddafi, who ruled Libya for 42 years, was captured in his home town of Sirte on Thursday after being found hiding in a concrete sewer. The National Transitional Council (NTC) had initially claimed that Gaddafi was killed in "crossfire", but video evidence showing the former leader being captured alive has led to accusations of an execution.

Omran al-Oweib, the commander of the group who found Gaddafi, told the BBC that he was unsure exactly how the Colonel died. "I didn't see who killed [or] which weapon killed Gaddafi," he said. Some fighters did want to shoot Gaddafi, Oweib admitted, but he claimed that he himself had actually tried to save his life.

The NTC have come under pressure from the international community to launch a full investigation into Gaddafi's death, with the United States calling for the probe to be carried out in an "open and transparent manner". Prime Minister Jibril said he was "absolutely OK" with the investigation having international supervision, provided Islamic burial rules are not broken.

For the Sunday Telegraph's Andrew Gilligan, reporting from Sirte, Gaddafi's treatment highlights the instability currently facing Libya. "The dictator's treatment – before and after death – underlines that Libya does not have a government," he writes, adding that Libya is not "a state with functioning standards, only a collection of militias".

Already there are fears that old tribal feuds might resurface amid the country's current power vacuum. The Observer reports that the decision to issue tomorrow's declaration of liberation from the eastern city of Benghazi rather than the capital, Tripoli, has attracted criticism given the historic rivalry between east and west Libya.

"I am not optimistic," one man told the paper. "OK, Gaddafi is gone, but what next? Are Libyans going to behave properly and act sensibly, or will we go back to square one? There are a lot of weapons about and some are in the hands of irresponsible people." · 

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