Libya Declares Liberation From 42-Year Gadhafi Rule

Posted October 24th, 2011 at 5:05 am (UTC-5)
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Libya's provisional authority has declared the country liberated, while concerns linger about the circumstances surrounding the death of former leader Moammar Gadhafi.

National Transitional Council leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil told tens of thousands of people in the eastern city of Benghazi Sunday that Islamic law will shape the new constitution in post-Gadhafi Libya. He promised that Islamic banks will be established and restrictions lifted on the number of wives Libyan men can take.

Libya's outgoing provisional prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril, said consultations are under way to form a new interim government within one month, followed by elections for a constitutional assembly within eight months. Parliamentary and presidential elections would be held within a year after that.

Jibril was speaking on the sidelines of an economic forum in Jordan, where he also announced his resignation to allow new leaders to oversee Libya's transition to democracy.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States would like to see a U.N. investigation of Gadhafi's killing. She said she supports the investigation that the NTC has pledged to conduct, and said it is important for a democratic Libya to begin with the rule of law and accountability.

British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said Gadhafi's killing had “stained” the image of Libya's provisional government, and that Britain would have liked to see the former leader stand trial for alleged misdeeds.

Rights groups have called for an investigation into cellphone video that shows provisional government fighters taunting and beating a wounded Gadhafi shortly before he died.

Libyan doctors performed an autopsy on Gadhafi's body in the city of Misrata Sunday and said he died of gunshot wounds to the head and abdomen. Libyan officials say the former leader was shot in a crossfire between his loyalists and provisional government forces. Fighters on the scene have acknowledged beating the ousted leader after his capture.

Gadhafi's body remained on public display in a commercial freezer in Misrata Sunday. Details of his burial have not been disclosed.