بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Corrections to some of the information contained in the article by
Mr. Raphael Luzon regarding the murder of members of his family in Libya.(*)
I read the article by Mr. Raphael Luzon, chairman of “Jews of Libya - UK” which was posted on 1st January 2007 on the Libyan web site “Akhbar Libya” under the title “What law and what jurisprudence would allow the annihilation of an entire Libyan Jewish family?”(1).
I noted that in this article he inserted the name of a Libyan army officer accused of killing members of his family in 1967. To my knowledge, this is the first time the identity of this officer was publicly added to the recently opened file of the Libyan Jews.
In the interest of serving the general Libyan national interests, I take this opportunity to add to this open file my own findings which I obtained and verified from responsible and highly positioned sources during my investigation of this particular issue in the mid nineties of the past century. Those facts led me to conclude that the government of P.M. Abdul-Qadir Al-Badri, (which succeeded that of P.M. Hussein Maziq in the aftermath of the June 1967 events), was serious in following up the said episode to establish the facts so that justice could be served.
This was evident by the government’s request to the high command of the Libyan army to hold an inquest into the murder charges in question so that it could take the appropriate measures according to its findings.
A committee comprising a number of high ranking officers of the Libyan army was in fact formed to look into the matter. The accused (named in the article), Mustafa Al-Greetly actually appeared before this committee. He admitted the charges from the outset and without any hesitation. He declared that he acted on his own initiative, and that he gave the orders to his soldiers to shoot the family without orders from his superiors, with no coordination with anybody from within or outside the army. He boasted that he was motivated by his Pan-Arabism and Nasserite sentiments and beliefs.
The committee verified the accused’s admission through its own means and passed – with narrow mindedness, short sightedness and a total betrayal of trust – its report to the Prime Minister denying the incident ever took place. That false report misled the government and prompted it to close all doors of debate with the international bodies which were pressing it to take the appropriate humanitarian stand and the necessary legal action.
I also learnt –from the aforesaid sources - that the motives of that committee to mislead the government in this case were the same motives that stopped leading officers in the Libyan Army from arresting Gaddafi’s young army officers when they were plotting their coup d'état, even though they had full recordings of their secret meetings and plans from the military intelligence agency which had them all under surveillance. Those motives were “preserving the good name of the army”!!! In the first incident they misled the government, while the second resulted in the fall of the throne.
I will continue - for the time being - to withhold the identity of my sources for security considerations that are clear to all.
I finally wish to put this question to Mr. Luzon and to the readers in general:
Isn’t it curious that the perpetrator of this criminal act was none other than the grandson of Ramadan Bey?”(2)
This is in-spite of the fact that the Libyan Army was at that time crowded with officers who were affiliated with Pan-Arabist parties, as well as those who adored Gamal Abdul-Nasser.
In this I find further support to my analysis to those events which I expanded on in a long article published by the London based daily “Al-Hayat” on 9th January 2006.(3)
Mohamed Ben Ghalbon
Libyan Constitutional Union
18 February 2007
(*) Translation from Arabic
(2) Ramadan Bey was the known name of Ramadan Al-Greetly in the city of Benghazi. He was one of the most prominent official collaborators with the Italian occupying authority in the Cyrenaica province. As a result of being a trusted link between the occupying force and the local citizens Ramadan Bey had offered mighty services to many Cyrenaican personalities and families who had been the subject of suspicion from the brutal colonial power in the country. Many were indebted to him for saving their necks from the noose of Italian gallows. No doubt he offered more significant services to his foreign employers. This was evident by him and all members of his family being granted Italian nationality and departing with them to Italy when the remnants of the Italian army were forced to flee the country in the early forties. Some of them opted to return to Libya after it gained independence benefiting from King Idris’s compassionate decision not to open old files or dwell upon the past. They chose to live in the city of Tripoli were their past and its consequences were not known. Some of them still live in Italy, which, since their family’s departure with the defeated Italian armies has become their home; while others travel between Italy and Tripoli.