Opinion and Editorial

The secret death?

Filed on October 3, 2012

THE REASON why despots are able to rule for decades is not only because their regimes have perfected the tactics of repression.

The covert from the outside world, including Western democratic countries, also makes them sustain their hold on power. And one such despot-democrat connection has been the subject of great scrutiny and criticism is the relationship between deceased Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Nobody will ever quite forget how Sarkozy warmly welcomed Gaddafi on a state visit to France and, in fact, also referred to him as a “brother leader” on that occasion. And reportedly the French leader received millions from the Libyan tyrant to fund his election campaign in 2007— an allegation that Sarkozy has repeatedly denied.

But now there’s a new startling twist that has cast more doubts on Sarkozy’s vehement denials. According to British paper Daily Mail, it wasn’t a lynch mob that killed Gaddafi last year, but rather a French secret serviceman acting on Sarkozy’s orders. Based on diplomatic sources in Tripoli, the news report alleges that the French secret serviceman had mixed with the revolutionaries and shot Gaddafi. Apparently, Sarkozy was afraid that the dictator would divulge details of his connection with him if he was captured alive and put through trial.

This reasoning has some credibility because as soon as Nato attacks on the Libyan regime started, Gaddafi threatened to disclose specifics of his connection with Sarkozy, including those about the millions of dollars he allegedly pumped into his re-election campaign.

This startling report comes less than a week after the death of Omran bin Shabaan— the 22-year-old Libyan rebel who captured Gaddafi and can be seen brandishing the gun responsible for killing Gaddafi in the infamous video showing the dictator’s corpse. Shabaan apparently was beaten up by Gaddafi loyalists in July and shot twice. He was subsequently taken to France for treatment, where he eventually died.

Shabaan received a hero’s funeral in Libya, but these new revelations have now cast serious doubts on the veracity of the mainstream account of Gaddafi’s death. While some might dismiss Daily Mail’s report as a rip off of some 007 thriller, one thing is for sure: A great deal of behind-the-scenes deals, arm-pulling and machinations characterise international relations. And the public is rarely privy to these confidential matters.

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