In an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti, Hannibal Gaddafi, the son of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, revealed how he was kidnapped in Syria and ended up imprisoned in Lebanon, and explained what he really knows about the disappearance of famous Shia religious leader Musa al-Sadr.
The recent scandal involving the desecration of a Libyan flag in Beirut and Libya’s subsequent refusal to participate in the League of Arab States’ summit in Lebanon has triggered a crisis in relations between the two countries, as influential Lebanese political party known as the Amal Movement continues to demand that Libya reveal the fate of its leader, Musa al-Sadr, and his two companions, who vanished in Tripoli decades ago.
Tensions between Libya and Lebanon have cast a spotlight on the fate of one of the sons of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Hannibal Gaddafi, who has remained imprisoned in Lebanon since 2015, where he is charged with withholding information related to al-Sadr’s disappearance.
For the first time since he was incarcerated, Hannibal Gaddafi agreed to answer a few questions in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti, revealing how he was kidnapped and what he really knows about the al-Sadr case.
RIA Novosti: Who kidnapped you in Syria and how?
Hannibal Gaddafi: I was kidnapped in Syria by an armed gang on 6 December 2015. I was illegally moved from Syria to the Bekka region of Lebanon; the kidnappers used the lane reserved for the military in order to prevent the Syrians from searching their car. I was held there for a week; they tortured me both physically and mentally in an attempt to force me to divulge information related to the 1978 disappearance of Musa al-Sadr and his two companions — Sheikh Muhammad Yaacoub, whose son orchestrated my kidnapping, and Abbas Badreddine.
RIA Novosti: You were detained in Lebanon on charges of withholding information on the Musa al-Sadr case. Is there any official investigation being conducted into this case, or court proceedings related to it? Do you actually possess any information related to the disappearance of Musa al-Sadr and his two companions?
Hannibal Gaddafi: I’m being held in a Lebanese state security service prison. Since I arrived here, I’ve met with a judge who was in charge of the case of Musa al-Sadr’s disappearance. The case can be summed up as follows: in 1978, Musa al-Sadr went missing along with his two companions, Muhammad Yaacoub and journalist Abbas Badreddine, during a visit to Libya.
Therefore, my detention has nothing to do with this case; I was detained simply because I’m the son of Muammar Gaddafi.
After I told the judge in charge of the case that I have no information related to Musa al-Sadr’s disappearance, I was accused of withholding information related to the case. The thing is, I was only two years old when these events transpired in 1978.
RIA Novosti: Do your wife and children visit you? Where are they now?
Hannibal Gaddafi: No, so far they have been unable to visit me. I worry about them a lot. They are not safe in Syria due to the events taking place there, and no one can take care of them. They need their father.
RIA Novosti: What is your current physical condition and the state of your health?
Hannibal Gaddafi: My physical condition is unsatisfactory. I suffer from chest pains, respiratory insufficiency, pains in the small of my back, as well as from skin problems caused by the lack of sunlight. Also, I had my nose broken due to the beating I sustained during my kidnapping, and I have a hematoma which I also sustained back then.
I would like to note that I request the UN to send a team of doctors to visit me in prison so that they can officially ascertain my current condition.
RIA Novosti: What are your confinement conditions?
Hannibal Gaddafi: The conditions in the prison are unacceptable. Also, I’m not allowed to contact the media, and everyone who visits me gets barred from entering Lebanon in the future.
RIA Novosti: Do you have any plans to participate in politics after your release?
Hannibal Gaddafi: It’s too early to talk about it. Right now I cannot speculate about this matter or make any decisions.
I would like to point out that while working in Libya, I never held any positions in the security services – I was just an adviser on cargo shipping.
We also count on Russia’s greater role, as a great power, in dealing with injustices like this. I thank Russia for its efforts aimed at facilitating my release.
Sources: RIA Novosti, Sputnik