Of the estimated 30,000 Libyans to die in that country's civil war last year, the brutal murder of Libyan dictator Mummar Qaddafi on October 20, 2011, seeming at the hands of a mob of opposition fighters is certainly the most celebrated or denounced death of them all, depending on how the observer see things.
For supporters of the revolution it was seen as a less than noble climax to a long and heroic campaign to end Qaddafi's 42 year dictatorship. To Qaddafi supporters and others opposed to NATO intervention, it was proof that the rabble that NATO had empowered had no respect for the rule of law, that Libya was descending into chaos and proof positive that Saif al-Islam Qaddafi and other high ranking captives from the defeated regime were in grave danger and could not get a fair trial in Libya.
Now new details about Qaddafi's murder have emerged. They indicate that Mummar Qaddafi was murdered by French special forces on orders from Elysée so that he could never speak about the illegal campaign contribution of 50 million Qaddafi is alleged to have made to Sarkozy's 2007 presidential campaign in France.
It is also being said that they were able to pinpoint Qaddafi's exact location because Bashar al-Assad gave French intelligence Qaddafi's personal satellite telephone number in return for an easing of French pressure on the Assad regime.
It was a dirty deal all around with the Libyan revolutionaries playing the patsies and getting the blame.
The Telegraph broke this story on Sunday:
The progressive French website Mediapart provided more details yesterday:
Bashar al-Assad 'betrayed Col Gaddafi to save his Syrian regime'
The Assad regime in Syria brought about Muammar Gaddafi's death by providing France with the key intelligence which led to the operation that killed him, sources in Libya have claimed.
By Adrian Blomfield, Nick Squires, Henry Samuel and Ruth Sherlock
8:00PM BST 30 Sep 2012
French spies operating in Sirte, Gaddafi's last refuge, were able to set a trap for the Libyan dictator after obtaining his satellite telephone number from the Syrian government, they said.
In what would amount to an extraordinary betrayal of one Middle East strongman by another, President Bashar al-Assad sold out his fellow tyrant in an act of self-preservation, a former senior intelligence official in Tripoli told the Daily Telegraph.
With international attention switching from Libya to the mounting horrors in Syria, Mr Assad offered Paris the telephone number in exchange for an easing of French pressure on Damascus, according to Rami El Obeidi.
"In exchange for this information, Assad had obtained a promise of a grace period from the French and less political pressure on the regime which is what happened," Mr El Obeidi said.
The claims by Mr El Obeidi, the former head of foreign intelligence for the movement that overthrew Gaddafi, followed comments by Mahmoud Jibril, who served as prime minister in the transitional government and now leads one of Libya's largest political parties. He confirmed over the weekend that a foreign "agent" was involved in the operation that killed Gaddafi.
He did not identify his nationality. However the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera quoted Western diplomats in Tripoli as saying that if a foreign agent was involved "he was almost certainly French". More...
The images depicting the demise of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi on October 20th 2011 suggest he was killed by a lynch mob. But could he have been executed by members of France's special forces after being stoned by the crowd? That is the startling claim of a former rebel intelligence chief in Libya who says that the attack on Gaddafi's convoy at Sirte that led to his death was coordinated by the French foreign intelligence agency the DGSE (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure) on the orders of the Elysée.The Libyans who are still holding Qaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, for trial in Libya have long argued that part of their reason for doing so has been to insure he remained alive to face trial. They have said that with the father dead, only the son held many secrets that various elements in the west would just as soon not be revealed and that it simply would not be safe to turn Saif al-Islam Qaddafi over to the international "community."
In an interview with Mediapart the agent making the claims, Rami el-Obeidi, ex-head of intelligence for Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC), stated bluntly that: French agents directly executed Gaddafi.
Mediapart has produced a string of revelations about how Sarkozy's election campaign was funded illegally with up to 50 million euros from the regime of the Libyan dictator.
The threat of a revelation about the financing of Sarkozy in 2006-2007 was taken sufficiently seriously for whoever at the Elysée to want the rapid death of Gaddafi, he said, mentioning somewhat mysteriously in the context of the payments the visits made by Cécilia Sarkozy [editor's note, Cécilia Sarkozy, then the president's wife, visited Libya in 2007 to help secure the release of five Bulgarian nurses held captive there.]. When contacted Cécilia Attias, as she now is, said: This man can say what he wants. I have absolutely no knowledge of this kind of thing.
El-Obeidi, who was close to General Abdul Fatah Younes, a senior rebel commander who was assassinated in July 2011, was one of the key intermediaries for Western secret services in Libya. Last Saturday he told journalists at the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera and Briton's The Daily Telegraph how NATO forces had obtained the coordinates of Gaddafi's location by keeping watch on his Libyan contacts in Damascus.
The Syrian president [Bashar al-Assad] himself gave Gaddafi's satellite phone number to French agents, he told Corriere della Sera. And el-Obeidi told The Daily Telegraph that the capture and death of Gaddafi was an exclusively French operation.
The former head of Libyan rebel intelligence also insists that a report was written on the circumstances of Gaddafi's death but that it was censored. So far these allegations about the possible French involvement in the Libyan dictator's death have produced no political reaction in France.
Two senior Libyan figures have discussed this explosive issue over the past week following the death of Omran Ben Chaaban, aged 22, one of the main people involved in the capture of Gaddafi. Chaaban died in Paris on September 24th of gun wounds he had received in Libya. In an interview with Le Point magazine the current Libyan head of state Mohamed Yousef El-Magariaf said it was not impossible that Gaddafi had financed Nicolas Sarkozy knowing the way he operated. The former head of the Transition Council, meanwhile, Mahmoud Jibril, told Egyptian television that many Arab [secret] services as well as Western had an interest in [ensuring that Gaddafi] never spoke.
Contacted by Mediapart, a spokesman for the DGSE refused to comment.
Saif al-Islam Qaddafi is still alive and awaiting trial after almost a year. His trial was to have started this September but was delayed after the extradition from Maurtania to Libya of the Qaddafi regime intel chief Abdullah al-Senussi last month. If these recent revelations are true, his trip to the Hague may have turned into a trip to the morgue via an unfortunate "accident." He may now be happy that he has been kept in Libya.
It also means that the Libyan Revolution has been unjustly blamed for Qaddafi's murder while the Libyan people have been unfairly cheated of a measure of justice by the collaboration a French imperialist and an Arab dictator, neither of which was acting out of humanitarian, or even national interests. Nicolas Sarkozy and Bashar al-Assad both conspired to murder Mummar Qaddafi out of their individual attempts to cling to power.