Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi in 2010
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi speaks to the press in 2010. A UN commission investigating alleged war crimes and human rights violations in Libya was unable to determine the cause of death of slain leader Kadhafi and his son Mutassim, a draft report said on Friday. © Mahmud Turkia - AFP/File
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi in 2010
AFP
Last updated: March 2, 2012

UN says findings on Kadhafi deaths inconclusive

A UN commission investigating alleged war crimes and human rights violations in Libya was unable to determine the cause of death of slain leader Moamer Kadhafi and his son Mutassim, a draft report said on Friday.

The International Commission of Inquiry on Libya report said that Kadhafi and his son, who were captured separately on October 20 by fighters from the port city of Misrata, died in unclear circumstances.

"Though wounded, both were alive on capture and subsequently died in thuwar (revolutionary) custody," read an unedited version of the report submitted to the UN Council on Human Rights and reviewed by AFP.

"The commission has been unable to confirm the death of Moamer Kadhafi as an unlawful killing and considers that further investigation is required," it said, making the same recommendation in the case of Mutassim.

Libyan authorities declined to provide the commission with access to Kadhafi's autopsy report despite "numerous requests," it said, noting that its pathologist could not conclude the cause of death from images of the corpse.

In Mutassim's case, the commission was unable to obtain any "account of the circumstances of his death," but reviewed footage "showing him alive" after his capture.

"Both were killed in unclear circumstances after capture but it is apparent that both were initially captured alive," the report said, recommending further investigation in both cases to determine the cause of death.

Controversy has raged over the circumstances of Kadhafi's death after he was taken alive during the fall of his home town of Sirte on October 20.

The new Libyan authorities have insisted the former dictator died as a result of crossfire, but many sources spoke of a summary execution.

The UN report concluded that the subsequent display of the Kadhafi corpses in a meat locker in Misrata "constituted a breach of international customary law."

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