UK calls for Gaddafi death inquiry
Britain has called on the new Libyan government to mount an investigation into the killing of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said the reputation of the National Transitional Council had been "a little bit stained" by the way Gaddafi died last week at the hands of his captors.
Graphic footage broadcast around the world showed a wounded and bleeding Gaddafi being taunted and manhandled by fighters loyal to the NTC before apparently being shot.
As Libyans celebrated the country's formal declaration of liberation after 42 years of dictatorship, the chief pathologist Dr Othman al-Zintani said a post-mortem examination had found that Gaddafi was killed by a shot to the head. Mr Hammond said that it was now important to establish exactly what had happened after he was captured on Thursday hiding in a storm drain near his home town of Sirte.
"It is not the way we would have liked it to have happened. We would have liked to see Col Gaddafi going on trial, ideally at the International Criminal Court, to answer for his misdeeds," Mr Hammond told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show.
"I think that the fledgling Libyan government will understand that its reputation in the international community is a little bit stained by what happened. I am sure that it will want to get to the bottom of it in a way that rebuilds and cleanses that reputation."
International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell, however, said that the fighters had acted in the "heat of battle" at what was an "extremely confusing moment".
"It's difficult for us, from the comfort of Britain, to put ourselves into the position of the soldiers and those who were involved in the capture of Gaddafi, and I think the best accounts are those that have come from the Libyans themselves," he told the BBC1 Politics Show.
Foreign Secretary William Hague has welcomed the national declaration of liberation announced by NTC leader Mustafa Abdul Jalil before jubilant crowds in Benghazi - the birthplace anti-Gaddafi revolt.
"The Libyan people now have the chance to work together in a new political process, leading to a pluralistic and open society under the rule of law," he said. "That opportunity is within their grasp and we urge them to seize it, avoiding retribution and reprisals and ensuring that national reconciliation and reconstruction go hand in hand."