DROWNED EX-OIL CHIEF WAS WANTED FOR QUESTIONING IN LIBYA
- Libya had sought to question Muammar Gaddafi's former oil boss in a corruption investigation before his body was found in the river Danube in Austria this week, Prosecutor General Abdelaziz Al-Hasadi said, according to Reuters.
He declined to discuss specifics of the probe involving Shokri Ghanem, who as head of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) ran the Libyan oil industry for years before defecting a year ago amid the uprising that toppled Gaddafi and moving to Vienna.
His role made Ghanem, a former premier who was also close to Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam, privy to potentially damaging information, including on oil deals with Western governments and oil companies.
Al-Hasadi would not confirm whether the investigation was related to Ghanem's tenure atop the NOC from 2006.
Libya "issued a warrant to bring him in. They only asked him to provide certain information, but this warrant is inactive on the international level," he said, adding that such a warrant did not necessarily mean that Ghanem was to be arrested. Libyan authorities sent the warrant to Interpol around a month ago but had received "no decisive reply yet", he added.
Ghanem's lawyer had been in touch about the request, he said. "Our request to bring him to Libya does not mean he is guilty, that is up to a court to decide," Hasadi added.
A passerby discovered Ghanem's fully clothed body in the Danube early on Sunday, a few hundred metres (yards) from his home in a 22-storey apartment block.
Austrian authorities say they have not detected foul play in the drowning, but friends and colleagues suspect enemies may have killed the man who knew more than anyone about the Libyan dictator's billions.
Ghanem, 69, was one of the most powerful men in Gaddafi's Libya - effectively controlling the purse strings of the government and the Gaddafi family.
- 1219 Death of Armenian King Levon the Second (Kingdom of Cilicia).
- 1817 General Yermolov, Commander of the Caucasian forces and Governor of the Caucasus, stops in Echmiadsin on his way to a mission in Persia.
- 1869 Death of the Armenologist Victor Langlois. He translated Armenian historical sources into French under the sponsorship of Noobar Pasha.
- 1900 Death of Hovhannes Aivazovsky (seascape artist) in Feodosia (the Ukraine). He was born in 1817.
- 1916 The "France-Armenie" committee is organized in Paris. Members of the Academy and other political figures are members.
- 1917 The First Assembly of Western Armenians opens in Yerevan under the Presidency of General Andranik.
- 1919 The Publication of Constantinople's Extraordinary Military Tribunal's decision about the perpetrators of the deportations of Booyook Dere's (Constantinople's district) Armenian population.
- 1930 Creation of the Kanaker Power Station.
- 1965 Death of Hrachia Kochar (writer and public figure). He was born in 1909.