Voltaire Network

The Economic Summit of the Arab League and the case of Moussa Sadr

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The Economic Summit of the Arab League was due to be held in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, on 19 and 20 January. However at least two issues raise doubts whether it will go ahead:

- First, there is an intense battle between the member states of the Arab League on the convenience of the Syrian Arab Republic becoming a member again;

- Second, the Lebanese Party Amal, established during the Lebanese Civil War by Iranian Imam Moussa Sadr, is opposed to a Lebanese delegation attending the meeting whilst the disappearance of this leader during an official journey to Libya in 1978 is an unsolved mystery. ‎ Hannibal, is one of the children of Muammar Gaddafi - the Libyan leader, who was assassinated. Hannibal is currently being held in Lebanon and in 2017 he declared that Abdessalam Jalloud, the number 2 in the Libyan government in 1978, who had the reputation of being far tougher than Gaddafi, organized the kidnapping of Imam Moussa Sadr and that several Libyan agents had doubled up as Sadr and those accompanying him, to give the impression that they had left Libya for Rome. ‎ Furthermore Hannibal Gaddafi declared that Imam Sadr has been kidnapped and was being secretly held in Libya ‎for years and specified where. Abdessalam Jalloud, a childhood friend of Muammar Gaddafi, was separated from Libyan power in 1993 after committing several serious errors. He is currently living in London. ‎

So Hannibal Gaddafi contradicted the prior declarations of Colonel Ahmad Ramadan al-Asaibie. ‎This former Head of Intelligence to the Libyan Leader, declared in 2011 to an Emirates TV Channel that it was on the order of Muammar Gaddafi that Imam Sadr had been assassinated during his stay in Libya [1]. ‎

In any event, neither of these versions on the disappearance of Imam Sadr shed light on the controversies nor on the exact political role of the Imam. Neither do they allow us to know who ordered his assassination.

The Minister of Justice of Lebanon, Salim Jreissati – member of the political block of the Lebanese President Michel Aoun – declared that in May 2018 he received a letter from the UN Human Rights Committee which challenges whether Hannibal Gaddafi was being lawfully detained. Thus on 9 Jan 2019, the Lebanese Minister of Justice unexpectedly requested the Lebanese Judicial Inspectorate to study the case. However the Minister of Finance, Ali Hassan Khalil (member of the Amal), reacted by casting doubt on whether there was in fact any letter from the UN at all.

According to the Lebanese press, Russia is probably putting pressure on the Libyan government to set Hannibal Gaddafi free.‎

The Lebanese Party Amal is planning to block the airport of Beirut and thus prevent a Libyan delegation from participating in the Economic Summit of the Arab League‎. ‎

Translation
Anoosha Boralessa

[1] “In 1978, Imam Sadr was indeed Muammar Gaddafi’s victim”, Voltaire Network, 10 November 2011.

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