Tripoli, 15 April 2012:
Investigations are continuing into whether remains found in a mass grave recently discovered in Tajoura are those of the . . .[restrict]missing Lebanese cleric, Imam Musa Sadr.
On Wednesday, Libyan government spokesman Nasser Al-Mana said that remains discovered at the grave were being transferred to a Tripoli hospital for DNA testing and that it was possible that they could belong to Sadr.
However, on Friday, the NTC’s spokesman Mohammed Al-Hareizi said that there was not proof as yet that the remains were those of Sadr.
The Iranian-born Lebanese Shiite cleric disappeared along with Sheikh Mohammed Yaacoub and journalist Abbas Badreddine, on August 31, 1978 while on a trip to Libya. They had been invited to Tripoli by Qaddafi. It has long been rumored that all three were murdered on Qaddafi’s orders following a row between the two men over religious matters in which is was said Sadr accused Qaddafi of being “an infidel”.
Sadr announced before he left Lebanon that he was traveling to Libya to meet with Qaddafi.
Last Sunday, Lebanon’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Adnan Mansour, flew to Tripoli for talks with Libyan officials on the fate of the three men.
Since then it has been reported here that, according to witnesses who were with Sadr prior to his disappearance, the last sighting of him was in Tajoura.
It has also been claimed in Tripoli today that Qaddafi-era documents reveal that he was murdered by Qaddafi.
There has been a mountain of speculation about the Sadr mystery in recent months. Last September, following the discovery of a secret morgue in Tripoli containing the frozen remains of a number of Qaddafi’s long dead victims, it was rumoured that one of the bodies was that of the journalist Badreddine. However, DNA tests proved inconclusive.
At the time of his disappearance, the regime claimed that the three men had left Tripoli-Libya on the evening of 18th August 1978 on an Alitalia flight bound for Italy.
It was confirmed that Imam Sadr’s suitcases were found with suitcases belonging to Sheikh Yaacoub in the Holiday Inn in Rome, however an extensive Italian judiciary investigation into the case ended with a final judgment made by the Appeals Prosecutor judge in Rome on 12 August 1979 for the case to be closed after they concluded that Sadr and his two companions never arrived in Italy. The Italian deputy Attorney-General reviewed the case and asserted that they had never left Libya.
Imam Musa Al-Sadr was the founder of the “Lebanese Resistance Brigades”, the military wing of the Amal Movement, during the Lebanese civil.