Lebanese Parliament speaker, Nabih Berri, has rejected speculations that Imam Musa Sadr, a prominent Shia cleric who went missing with two companions nearly 40 years ago in Libya, is dead, saying there is still no evidence proving the death.
“Do not try me in the imam’s case, not now and not later. Our stance will remain the same, the imam’s case is our top priority,” said Berri while addressing thousands of supporters of the Amal Movement, the political party which he leads.
The top Lebanese legislator said Lebanon still holds Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s deposed dictator who was killed in 2011, responsible for the fate of Sadr, saying the respected Shia cleric, who founded the Amal Movement in 1974, was subject to “the worst type of abduction history has known at the hands of Gaddafi.”
He called on the Lebanese government to give the issue more attention, saying investigation into the case was ongoing and that a Lebanese team had visited Libya in February to receive further information on the mysterious issue.
Berri hailed Sadr’s efforts for creating unity in the Arab world, saying he saw unity as a solution to the “lurking strife” emerging among the Arab nations at the time.
Imam Musa Sadr was a highly revered Shia cleric from Iran who came to Lebanon in 1959 to work for the rights of Shias in Tyre, a southern port where Berri held his speech Wednesday. The gathering was meant to commemorate 38 years since Sadr, his companion, Sheikh Mohammad Yaacoub, and journalist Abbas Badreddine went missing during a trip to Libya.
Since Gaddafi was deposed in 2011, Lebanon and Iran have repeatedly called on the Libyan government to probe Sadr’s kidnapping and the related issues. Hannibal Gaddafi, the son of the Libyan dictator, is currently in custody in Lebanon, facing charges of hiding information regarding Sadr’s case.