Ex-Libya oil minister Shukri Ghanem drowned, autopsy results show

LONDON, UK - Former Libyan oil minister Shukri Ghanem, whose corpse was found in Vienna’s Danube river on Sunday, died by drowning, according to preliminary post-mortem results in Austria.

Police spokesman Roland Hahslinger said there appeared to be no outside involvement and there were no indications to suggest suicide, the BBC reports.

There were no signs of violence on the 69-year-old’s body, he added, which was found near Ghanem's home in Vienna.

Toxicology reports are expected in a few days, according to the Associated Press.

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Hahslinger suggested that the death may have been an accident and said Ghanem had complained to his daughter late Saturday that he was not feeling well.

Libya’s prime minister from 2003 until 2006 and oil minister until 2011, Ghanem defected from Muammar Gaddafi’s regime last May and fled to Vienna, where he worked as a consultant for a company.

The holder of advanced degrees in law and economics, Ghanem had served in senior positions at the Vienna-based Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) before his appointment as Libyan prime minister.

His defection came just weeks before he was due to represent Libya at an OPEC meeting in the Austrian capital, the Agence France Presse reports.

At the time he criticized the bloodshed in Libya, saying the violence meted out by the regime had become “unbearable” and made his position untenable. 

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