Attorney-at-law Gomin Dayasri yesterday said that those pursuing international war crimes inquiry, targeting President Mahinda Rajapaksa, couldn’t turn a blind eye to claims that former French President Nicolas Sarkozy ordered the French secret service to assassinate ousted Libyan President Colonel Gaddafi.
Former US Ambassador Patricia Butenis called President Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka and Minister Basil Rajapaksa war criminals in a diplomatic cable sent to State department in the run-up to the Jan. 2009 presidential poll.
Gaddafi was killed on Oct 20, last year at Sirte.
Unlike unsubstantiated allegations made in two documentaries telecast by UK media outfit Channel 4 as well as the Darusman report as regards atrocities committed by GoSL forces, accusation against Sarkozy was made by Mahmoud Jibril, who served as interim prime minister in the National Transitional Council (NTC) until last October.
Dayasri said that recent Western media exposure of the alleged involvement of the one-time French leader couldn’t be ignored by those countries pushing for accountability issues in other countries. The lawyer urged the Sri Lankan government to closely follow the inquiry into the Gaddafi assassination. Jibril told Egyptian TV: “It was a foreign agent who mixed up with the revolutionary brigade to kill Gaddafi.”
Sarkozy lost the presidential election in May.
The allegations against Sarkozy were serious due to claims by the Libyan strongman that he funded Sarkozy’s election campaign in 2007, Dayasri said. In fact, interrogation of Gaddafi could have revealed what was going on between the dictatorial Libyan leadership and Western powers, particularly Sarkozy and former British Premier Tony Blair, Dayasri said.
Dayasri said that the UN couldn’t ignore allegations as Western powers exploited its controversial mandate authorizing implementation of a no fly zone over Libya to mount a massive air campaign. The lawyer pointed out that UK and Norway, which had been pushing Sri Lanka on the accountability issue were involved in the air campaign along with the French.
Responding to a query, Dayasri said according to Western news agencies, Gaddafi was captured immediately after NATO aircraft bombed his convoy. The presence of British and French military personnel in Libya, too, should be investigated in the backdrop of Jibril’s allegations.
Dayasri said that he perused many international reports on the issue. They covered the issue from various angles, including the sudden death of a 22-year-old youth who was captured on the video of Gaddafi killing, at a hospital in Paris a few days ago. Ben Omran Shaaban was shown brandishing a pistol. Dayasri said that Shaaban, too, had now died in Paris after being flown there following an attack on him by some Gaddafi loyalists last July.