Britain’s new Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said Sunday that the reputation of Libya’s new leaders had been “stained” by the killing of ousted dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
Hammond said he would like to see an investigation into the death of Qaddafi, who was captured alive during the fall of his hometown Sirte on Thursday.
“It’s certainly not the way we do things, it’s not the way we would have liked it to have happened,” he told BBC television.
“We would have liked to see Colonel Qaddafi going on trial, ideally at the International Criminal Court, to answer for his misdeeds not only in Libya but of course the many acts of terrorism that he supported and perpetrated outside Libya, of which we in Britain have a disproportionately large number of victims.
“The fledgling Libyan government will understand that its reputation in the international community is a little bit stained by what happened.
“I’m sure that it will want to get to the bottom of it in a way that rebuilds and cleanses that reputation.”
Wishes Qaddafi had not been killed
Qaddafi’s family and international human rights groups have urged an inquiry into how Qaddafi, 69, was killed, since gory cellphone video footage showed him alive but being beaten and taunted by his captors.
On Saturday Libya’s Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril said in an interview with the BBC he wished Qaddafi had not been killed and instead had been put on trial for his crimes.
“To be honest with you at the personal level I wish he was alive. I want to know why he did this to the Libyan people,” the BBC quoted Jibril as saying in remarks made available ahead of broadcast early on Sunday.
“I wish I were his prosecutor in his trial, you know,” he added. “Because this is the question which is in everybody’s mind: Why? Did the Libyan people deserve what he did throughout 42 years of oppression, of killing, of everything?”
U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay has called for an investigation of the killing. Asked whether he would conduct a full investigation and allow an international team to monitor it, Jibril said:
“Yes, that would be absolutely okay with us you know, but for the body when it’s buried, you know, according to Islamic rule ... when it’s buried, it’s buried.
“We got the coroner’s report, I saw the body myself. I can testify that there were no bruises on his face or on his body.”
Jibril acknowledged there had been “some limited violations of human rights” in Libya’s revolution.
On Sunday the interim government decided to hand Qaddafi’s body over to his extended family after consulting with them on the location of his burial.