Al Arabiya’s show Political Memory has caused a crisis between the Lebanese committee in charge of investigating the case of Shiite cleric Moussa al-Sadr, who disappeared in Libya in 1978, and head of the Libyan National Interim Council (NIC) Mustafa Abdul Jalil.
One day after Al Arabiya aired a series of interviews conducted with Abdul Jalil in the Libyan capital Tripoli, the Lebanese committee issued a statement accusing Abdul Jalil of inaccuracy when referring to the body handed by Libya as belonging to Sadr and confirmed that DNA tests proved otherwise.
The committee explained that even though there is a general belief that Sadr and his two companions who had also disappeared at the same time are alive, it agreed to take the samples provided by NIC to make sure the body is not his.
The committee also demanded that the Libyan authorities issue no statements about the case until investigations are completed and asked the Libyan judiciary to do its part to reach the truth about Sadr’s disappearance.
The coming episodes of Political Memory, and in which the rest of the interviews are to be aired, are expected to stir more controversy and unravel many secrets especially that Abdul Jalil was the minister of justice at the time of Gaddafi and is said to have known a lot about what happened in the back stage at that time, according to the Lebanese website el-Nashra.
Political Memory has also stirred heated debate in the Palestinian political scene after it aired a series of five interviews with Mohamed Rashid, the former economic advisor of late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and who was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in jail for corruption and embezzlement charges.
According to the Palestinian anti-Corruption Commission, Rashid’s offences were basically committed during the time he ran several companies and investments affiliated to the Palestinian Authority and until 2005. Rashid denies all the charges.
Rashid fired back by accusing Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas of being among a group of Palestinian officials who cooperated with the American Administration and Israeli authorities to carry out a “moral assassination” plot against Yasser Arafat.
This plot, he argued, started with a speech in which then American George Bush said that Arafat had becomes “useless.”
Rashid added that Americans put a lot of pressure on Arafat to give up many of his powers to Abbas. At the time, Rashid recounted, Abbas formed the first Palestinian government, but it did not last for more than 100 days.
“Arafat’s supporters protested against Abbas while he was about to enter the parliament and this made the US intensify its pressure on Arafat.”
According to Rashid, Arafat was poisoned and Israel is most likely the perpetrator.
“I called Ariel Sharon’s son to try and get an antidote for the poison that must have been secretly used with Arafat like what happened with Hamas’s Khaled Meshaal in Jordan.”
After making several contacts, Rashid added, Sharon’s son was asked not to interfere in the matter.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)