Libyan investigators carry out DNA tests in search for missing imam
15 Apr 2012 13:30
Source : alarabiya.net
Investigators are carrying out DNA tests on remains that could belong to Lebanese Imam Musa Sadr, who mysteriously disappeared in Libya more than 33 years ago, an official at the ministry of missing persons told AFP on Saturday.
Bfnews: “We are testing the DNA of three separate bodies,” said Esam Zregi, who heads the department for documentation and sample collections, adding that the final results would be ready in four to six weeks.
Investigators suspect that “one is Sheikh Musa Sadr and that the other two are his Lebanese associates,” who went missing at the same time, he added.
“Lebanese authorities are cooperating (with us),” he said.
The fate of the Iranian-born Shiite cleric has been unknown since he vanished during a trip to Libya aimed at negotiating an end to Lebanon’s ۱۹۷۵-۱۹۹۰ civil war.
Zregi said Libyan investigators found the bodies drawing on information provided by witnesses and military figures linked with the former regime of Muammar Qaddafi, who are now in prison.
He said that the bodies were found in a graveyard -- and not a mass grave as some media reported -- in the suburb of Tajura, near Tripoli, thanks to a tip-off given by former regime associates.
“It is not ۱۰۰ percent sure yet -- we must wait for the results,” he warned.
In November, a former aide to Qaddafi, said the revered Lebanese spiritual leader had been liquidated during a ۱۹۷۸ visit to Libya.
Sadr reportedly disappeared following a meeting with the slain Libyan dictator soon after arriving in Tripoli.
Officially invited to Libya, he arrived there on August ۲۵, ۱۹۷۸, with two companions Sheikh Mohammed Yacoub and journalist Abbas Badreddin. They were seen for the last time on August ۳۱, ۱۹۷۸.
His disappearance had been a source of tension between Lebanon and the Qaddafi regime, which always maintained that the cleric had left Libya for Italy.
According to an indictment against Qaddafi issued by Lebanese authorities, Qaddafi ordered Sadr to be “taken away” after the pair got into a heated argument.
Abdel Moneim al-Honi, a former colonel who took part in the ۱۹۶۹ coup that brought Qaddafi to power, revealed in February that Qaddafi had ordered Sadr killed during his visit.
Qaddafi was killed in his hometown of Sirte on October ۲۰ after an eight-month armed rebellion inspired by a wave of pro-democracy protests that swept the Arab world.