Shukri Ghanem Drowned: Muammar Gaddafi’s Top Oil Official Found Floating Dead In Danube River

Shukri Ghanem, former chairman of Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC), was found floating in Austria’s River Danube, police indicated on Sunday.

Sixty-nine-year-old Ghanem was Muammar Gaddafi’s top oil industry official prior to his defection last year, several months after the Libyan rebellion was underway. He served as NOC chairman from 2006 until defecting and helped steer Libya’s oil policy, as his job entailed the representation of Libya at meetings with OPEC. The OPEC meetings often brought him to Vienna, where he was found dead. A spokesman for the Vienna police, Roland Hahslinger, was quoted by MSNBC having said:

“He was found dead in the Danube river at 8:40 a.m. (EDT). There is no suspicion at all of foul play at this stage. The corpse exhibited no signs of violence.”

Ghanem’s autopsy has yet to be released so the cause of death is still unknown at this time, however has indicated that Shukri Ghanem’s death came as a result of drowning.

After his departure from the Gaddafi administration, Ghanem appeared in Rome saying that he had defected due to the “unbearable violence” being utilized by Gaddafi’s government in an attempt to quell the rebellion which ultimately overthrew the dictator’s violent regime.

Since his exile, he was believed to have been residing somewhere in Europe. Due to his association with the former Libyan leader, he decided against returning home as he believed that there was significant potential for the new rulers to prosecute him upon his return.

Libya’s former head of the state-run oil company was found dead, floating in a river in Vienna, and there were no apparent signs of violence. While it appears to have been an accidental drowning, what do you think the cause of death will be in the case of Shukri Ghanem?

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