Beirut, Feb 23: Lebanon has refused to grant landing permission to a private plane belonging to one of the sons of embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
The plane was transporting the Lebanese wife of Hannibal Gaddafi to her home country as pro-democracy protesters take control of nearly most parts of Libya. Several members of Libya’s ruling family were also onboard the plane.
“The Beirut airport overnight Sunday to Monday received a request from Libyan authorities to allow a plane belonging to the Gaddafi family and transporting Aline Skaff, the wife of Hannibal Gaddafi, as well as other passengers to land,” the official said Wednesday on condition of anonymity.
“Lebanon rejected the request,” the officials said without providing further details.
A government official said the private jet was barred from Lebanese airspace after Libyan authorities refused to provide Beirut with a detailed list of the passengers on board.
The Gaddafi family is not welcomed in Lebanon over the mysterious disappearance of prominent Shia Muslim cleric Imam Moussa al-Sadr.
It is widely believed in Lebanon that Imam Moussa al-Sadr, the founder of the Lebanon’s Amal movement, was kidnapped on the orders of senior Libyan officials while on an official trip to Libya in August 1978.
Accompanied by two aides, Mohammed Yaqoub and Abbas Badreddin, Sadr was scheduled to meet with officials from the government of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi when they mysteriously disappeared.
There are conflicting reports about the fate of Imam Moussa al-Sadr. While some say he was killed in Libya, others suggest that he is still alive.
In 2008, the government in Beirut issued an arrest warrant for Gaddafi over Sadr’s disappearance.
Libya, however, has consistently denied responsibility, claiming that Sadr and his companions left Libya safely on a plane bound for Italy, which has strongly denied the claim.