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Lebanon wants facts from Gadhafi on missing cleric
rahul | August 31, 2008 at 11:50 amby
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2008-08-31 19:30:02 - BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) - A prominent Lebanese politician on Sunday asked Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to reveal anything he knows about the disappearance of a senior Lebanese cleric during a trip to Libya 30 years ago. Shiite cleric Imam Moussa al-Sadr and two companions went missing during an official visit in 1978. The case has been a long-standing sore issue in Lebanon, where authorities blame Gadhafi and his aides for their disappearance. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri urged Gadhafi to reveal facts in the case. «I say again to the head of the Libyan regime, Moammar Gadhafi, that the disappearance of Imam al-Sadr and his two companions is your personal responsibility. We will not drop this responsibility,» Berri told tens of thousands of cheering Shiite supporters at a rally to mark the anniversary of the disappearance. Lebanese judicial officials announced last week that a prosecutor has indicted Gadhafi and six other Libyan officials on a charge of «incitement to kidnap and withhold the freedom» of the cleric and his companions. Sunday's rally in the southern town of Nabatiyeh was organized by the Shiite Amal movement that al-Sadr founded in 1975 and is now headed by Berri.
Addressing Gadhafi, Berri said, «All your maneuvers and tactics will be to no avail because what is required is one thing: to reveal facts in the case of Imam al-Sadr and his two companions. Libya insists that al-Sadr and his two companions left its territory on a flight to Rome at the end of the visit and suggests the imam was a victim of an inter-Shiite power struggle. Despite a widely held belief in Lebanon that the three Shiites were killed after a dispute with Gadhafi, the al-Sadr family strongly believes the imam is alive and remains in a Libyan jail.