Body of former Libyan PM found

Published April 30th, 2012 - 05:09 GMT
Shukri Ghanem
Shukri Ghanem

The body of Shukri Ghanem, former Libyan Prime Minister and Minister of Petroleum under the regime of Muammar Gaddafi was found on Sunday in Vienna where he was exiled. The body was found in the Danube River, police said.

The body of this 69 year old man was discovered in the river by a passerby, according to a police statement. Earlier, it was reported the body was found in his apartment, and that he had suffered a heart attack.

No signs of violence were found on the body, said a spokesman for the Vienna police, Roman Hahslinger. "It is possible that he was ill and fell into the water," he said.

An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

A former close aide to Muammar Gaddafi, Ghanem severed ties with the dictator in May 2011 and settled in Vienna, where he had frequently resided for meetings of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). OPEC headquarters are located in the Austrian capital.

Ghanem also had a permanent residence in a neighborhood near the UN headquarters in Vienna on the Danube, not far from where his body was found. Moreover, his two daughters hold Austrian citizenship.

Police said he also had an office in the city center.

Shukri Ghanem was the head of government from 2003 to 2006 and oil minister and president of Libya's state oil company, from 2006 to 2011.

According to his family, the funeral may be held in Libya.

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