MEDIAPART (France), CORRIERE DELLA SERA (Italy) DREAM TV (Egypt)
PARIS - The former intelligence chief for Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) has alleged that a French secret agent working with the complicity of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad killed the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi.
NTC spy chief Rami el-Obeidi told Paris-based news website Mediapart on Tuesday that "French agents directly executed Gaddafi" on October 20 2011, in an affair that implicates both former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the now embattled Syrian leader Assad.
In October 2011, the press reported that the Libyan dictator was beaten and killed by rebel forces after being found hiding in a drainpipe. However, longstanding rumors that foreign agents orchestrated the killing has gained credence in recent days after an interview last week on Egypt's Dream TV with Mahmoud Jibril, who'd served as interim Libyan Prime Minister following Gaddafi's death.
"It was a foreign agent who infiltrated the revolutionary forces and killed Gaddafi," Jibril told the Cairo-based TV station.
Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera followed that up with an accusation by Western diplomatic sources in Tripoli that said it was "almost certainly French" secret service agents involved in Gaddafi's death. At the time, Gaddafi was threatening to reveal details that he helped finance Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 electoral campaign.
Rami el-Obeidi suggests to Mediapart that the French government under Sarkozy wanted to silence Gaddafi.
He suggests that French spies were able to set a trap for Gaddafi by obtaining the leader's phone number from the Syrian government, enabling them to pinpoint his location when Gaddafi made a call. This would explain how revolutionary forces were able to find the former leader, who was hiding in a drainpipe in the Libyan town of Sirte.
El-Obedi also suggests that Bashar al-Assad, attempting to divert attention away from the conflict in Syria, gave French forces information of Gaddafi's whereabouts in exchange for France easing pressure on Damascus.
British and Turkish agencies were also supposedly informed, although it was "an exclusively French operation."