Photo: Wikimedia Commons
While the untimely death of former Libyan oil minister Shukri Ghanem has been officially ruled a drowning, many people are still not satisfied with the verdict, and believe darker forces within the oil trade were at work.Reuters has spoken to a number of high level sources who tell them they have their doubts about the current story — that Ghanem was out walking in Vienna when he suffered some kind of health problem and fell in the river.
One source, described as “a former oil minister of another OPEC country who had remained a close friend of Ghanem” tells the newswire:
“I thought that was ridiculous. You don’t go down to the Danube, have a heart attack and fall into the river.”
The same source later says:
“Given where he was, yes I think I would be worried. Without any doubt, I would have been very worried. In fact I think he said at times he felt he was being followed. But that might have been his imagination, who knows.”
A different source, former OPEC oil minister, Issam Chalabi from Iraq, also has his doubts:
“For him to be found in the River Danube, in the morning, fully clothed – you know that he doesn’t swim, he can’t have fallen just like that. I think we have not heard the end of the story.”
Ghanem has become well-known in the West for his high profile defection from Muammar Qaddafi’s government in 2011. However, before that he had been at the centre of Libyan life, and, in particular, its oil trade, for years. Whatever he may have learned during those years may well have died with him.
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