Lebanese abducted in Libya 'nothing to do with Gaddafi'

Lebanese abducted in Libya 'nothing to do with Gaddafi'
The kidnapping of Lebanese citizens in Benghazi last month is not linked with arrest of Hannibal Gaddafi, said Beirut on Wednesday, denying claims made in unverified video posted earlier online.
2 min read
14 January, 2016
Hannibal Gaddafi, youngest son of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, is in Lebanese custody [AFP]
A statement by Lebanon's Foreign Ministry said it was aware of the kidnapping of two Lebanese citizens in Benghazi in December, but dismissed earlier reports their kidnapping was linked to the arrest of Hannibal Gaddafi in Lebanon last month.

Quoting the country's ambassador to Libya Mohammad Sakina, the statement said the Lebanese hostages named as Mohammad and Khaled Nuzha were abducted on the back of financial disputes before Gaddafi's arrest.

The ministry said their case was being followed up "away from the media".

A video earlier posted on a Facebook page sympathetic to deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi alleging to show two Lebanese men abducted in Libya had called on Lebanon to release Gaddafi's son.

The video was posted to a page called "The International Gaddafi News Agency" on Wednesday.

It showed two men holding placards with their names, birth dates and hometowns. The placards were signed January 9.

The authenticity of the video could not be verified.

Gaddafi, who resided in Syria, was kidnapped on 11 December in Lebanon's Bekaa valley near the Syrian border, but was freed by police hours later.

Lebanese authorities later charged Gaddafi with withholding information about the disappearance of revered Shia cleric Moussa al-Sadr. Gaddafi is currently in custody.

Sadr went missing in Libya in 1978 during an official visit, along with an aide and a journalist.

Beirut blamed the disappearances on longtime Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

But Hannibal Gaddafi had secured political refugee status in Syria, a statement by the government in Damascus said after the episode.

Lebanese Shia former MP Hasan Yaacoub and three of his bodyguards were arrested last month over their alleged involvement in Gaddafi's abduction.

Yaacoub’s father, Sheikh Mohammad Yaacoub, was one of the two companions who went missing along with Sadr.

Lebanese investigators allegedly discovered that Yaacoub had orchestrated an elaborate scheme to seize Gaddafi from Syria and bring him to Lebanon.