Tripoli: A Libyan official says the burial of slain leader Muammar Gaddafi has been delayed until his death can be examined by the International Criminal Court.
Mohamed Sayeh, a senior member of the governing National Transitional Council, says a "third party will come from outside of Libya to go through the paperwork”.
Sayeh also says Gaddafi's body is still in Misrata, where it was taken after his killing in Sirte. He says Gaddafi will be buried with respect according to Islam tradition and will not have a public funeral.
Friday's delay comes as bloody images of Gaddafi's last moments have raised questions over how exactly he died after he was captured wounded, but alive.
Earlier, Libya's new leaders have promised Gaddafi would be buried on Friday according to Islamic norms.
The death, two months after Gaddafi's ouster, finished off the nearly 42-year regime that had turned the oil-rich country into an international pariah and his own personal fiefdom. It also thrusts Libya into a new age in which its transitional leaders must overcome deep divisions and rebuild nearly all its institutions from scratch to achieve dreams of democracy.
The governing National Transitional Council said interim leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil will formally declare liberation on Saturday in the eastern city of Benghazi, where the revolution against Gaddafi's rule began in mid-February. The NTC has always said it will form a new interim government within a month of liberation and will hold elections within eight months.
Acting Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, who confirmed Gaddafi's death on Thursday, said he will step down to make way for others to guide the oil-rich North African nation toward democracy.
"The forming of the new government is subject to the NTC and I myself will not be part of that new government," Jibril said at a news conference in Tripoli. "I would like to call on Libyans to put aside the grudges and only say one word, which is Libya, Libya, Libya."
Other leaders have fallen in the Arab Spring uprisings, but the 69-year-old Gaddafi is the first to be killed. He was shot to death in his hometown of Sirte, where revolutionary fighters overwhelmed the last of his loyalist supporters on Thursday after weeks of heavy battles.
US President Barack Obama told the Libyan people: "You have won your revolution”.
Although the US briefly led the relentless NATO bombing campaign that sealed Gaddafi's fate, Washington later took a secondary role to its allies. Britain and France said they hoped that his death would lead to a more democratic Libya.
Also killed in Sirte was one of Gaddafi's feared sons, Muatassim, while another son — one-time heir apparent Seif al-Islam — was wounded and captured.
A reporter saw cigarette burns on Muatassim's body.
There were conflicting accounts about how Gaddafi was killed. Eager to show they were taking the moral high ground, Libya officials promised he would be buried with respect.
First Published: Friday, October 21, 2011, 15:53