[This is the headline over a report published yesterday in the Checkpoint Washington section of The Washington Post website. It reads in part:]
The former intelligence chief to Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi was seriously injured Tuesday while in the custody of the National Transitional Council, fueling concerns about the treatment of loyalists to the deposed government.
The cause of Abuzed Omar Dorda’s injuries are disputed, but a relative of Dorda, a one-time UN envoy, has appealed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council president to intercede with Libyan authorities to protect the former official, saying he had been the target of an assassination attempt by his jailers. The UN’s special representative to Libya, Ian Martin, has instructed his staff to look into the claim.
“Mr Dorda survived a murder attempt last night, 25 October, 2011, at the hands of his guards in the building where he was arrested,” Adel Khalifa Dorda, a nephew and son-in-law of the Gaddafi loyalist, wrote on behalf of the Dorda family. “He was thrown off the second floor leading to several broken bones and other serious injuries.”
The nephew said authorities were forced to move Dorda to a hospital in Tripoli, where “as of now he is being held under extremely poor conditions.”
The militiaman in charge of the hospital on Thursday confirmed Dorda was injured but refused to allow a reporter to interview him. The militiaman, Sadiq Turki, gave varying accounts of how Dorda was injured, first saying he had tried to commit suicide by jumping out of a second-story window, then saying the former official had been trying to escape his detention facility.
“He’s the one who gave orders to kill and rape in Tripoli,” Turki told a reporter at the Mitiga military hospital. He declined to allow a reporter to talk to Dorda, saying, “This is confidential.” (...)
[Surgeon, Faraj] Al-Farjani and another doctor, Yahia Moussa, said Dorda’s wounds weren’t life-threatening but were serious for a 71-year-old man. The doctors said they hadn’t been able to question Dorda about how he was injured. (...)
Dorda had long been a high-ranking official in Gaddafi’s government, playing a role during his years at the United Nations in negotiating the deal that ended UN sanctions on Libya imposed after the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, and paving the way to a financial payout to relatives of the victims.
[Omar Dorda played a significant part in gaining and maintaining Libyan Government acceptance of and support for my neutral venue proposal for a Lockerbie trial and in resolving difficulties that arose (largely through the intransigence of the then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright) after the United States and the United Kingdom eventually accepted the need for such a solution. Without his quiet diplomacy at the United Nations in New York, I doubt if a Lockerbie trial would ever have taken place.]