Libya's Ex-Oil Minister Found Floating Down Danube River

Shukri Ghanem's body shows no signs of violence: police
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2012 4:04 PM CDT
Libya's Ex-Oil Minister Found Floating Down Danube River
Shukri Ghanem in Tripoli in 2011.   (AP Photo/Abdulmagid Alforjani)

(Newser) – Libya's former oil minister, who defected during the height of his country's uprising, was found floating dead down the Danube river in Austria today. Shukri Ghanem's body showed no signs of violence, although "there would be no signs of violence if someone pushed him in," said a police spokesman. "But it's also possible that he became ill and fell into the water." The 69-year-old former prime minister was working for a Vienna-based company as a consultant, the BBC reports.

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Spotted by a passer-by near a popular recreation ground, Ghanem's body was fully dressed and carried no personal documents (except for one identifying his company). Autopsy results are expected over the next few days. Ghanem fled Libya in May 2011 as one of the top-ranking officials to abandon Gadhafi's regime, reports AFP. He said he wanted to "join the choice made by young Libyans to fight for a democratic country"—but added he was not working with Libya's interim government. Instead, he found refuge in Vienna, a city he had lived in before as an OPEC director. (Read more Libya stories.)

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