Frame grab shows former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi after his capture by NTC fighters in Sirte.
This still image taken from amateur video posted online by GlobalPost and obtained by Reuters, October 21, 2011, shows former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi after his capture by NTC fighters in Sirte. Reuters

Muammar Gaddafi, his son Muatassim and a top aide have been buried at a secret desert location after Muslim rites with a few relatives and officials in attendance, but the burrials are unlikely to calm down the controversy surrounding Libya's former "brother leader."

The Associated Press was sent a text quoting National Transitional Council spokesman Ibrahim Beitalmal as saying, the burial took place at 5 a.m. Tuesday, with Islamic prayers being read over the bodies, but the news agency said the information could not be independently verified.

The three bodies had been put in cold storage in Misrata, a stronghold of the revolution, for four days.

On Monday, officials closed the gates of the compound where the bodies were stored, without providing any official reasons, indicating a burial was being planned.

The death of the dictator has been widely celebrated by the Libyans but has caused much controversy on the international scene.

While footages of state security forces firing live ammunitions on crowds in Egypt and Syria have led to international support for the uprisings, graphic footages showing the moments preceding the leader's death in Libya have prompted calls for an investigation to be launched.

Gaddafi was clearly still alive when captured, hidden in a storm drain in Sirte, despite having blood streaming from his face.

Shocking video footage shows a rebel inserting an object in the former leader's rear end, and Gaddafi being beaten up by rebels.

In one video, Gaddafi can be heard saying "God forbids this" while being kicked around by the crowds.

"This is for Misrata, you dog," one man slapping him can be heard saying while another one shouts, "Shut up you dog."

Another video shows Gaddafi being heaved off the bonnet of the truck and dragged towards a car, being pulled down by his hair. "Keep him alive, keep him alive!" someone shouts.

A new video showing a young Libyan fighter called Senad el Sadok el Ureybi, who said he shot the tyrant because he could not bear the thought of taking him alive, has added to speculations the leader was executed.

"We grabbed him and I hit him in the face. Some of the others wanted to take him away and that's when I shot him, twice - in the face and chest," the self-proclaimed killer said on the film.

Contradictory comments have also emerged as while NTC officials insisted Gaddafi was alive when put in the ambulance, the ambulance driver, Ali Jaghdoun, said he was dead when he picked him up and drove him to Misrata. "I didn't try to revive him because he was already dead," Jaghdoun said.

The deaths of Gaddafi's son Mutassim and of his former national security advisor, are also unclear but footage showing Mutassim alive while in detention, have also led to speculation he had been executed.

Monday, following international pressure, the National Transitional Council promised an investigation.

The latest revelations comes as Human Rights Watch discovered 53 decaying bodies thought to be Gaddafi loyalists, abandoned in a hotel in Sirte.

"Some had their hands tied behind their backs when they were shot," Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch said.

"If the NTC fails to investigate this crime it will send a signal that those who fought against Gaddafi can do anything without fear of prosecution," he said.

The handling of the death and its aftermath have been widely criticised. While Libya's new leaders have announced plans to build a democratic state, the events of recent days have raised serious questions for the future of Libya.

While few people inside Libya seem troubled by the violent minutes that preceded Gaddafi's death, having suffered from state-sponsored violence for years, the level of chaos and brutality showed in the footages, has tarnished the reputation of the NTC and could have important ramifications for the new leaders.

Allegations that soldiers were allowed to take the matter into their own hands will not help fears that those still armed with weapons could instigate further insurgencies if not satisfied with the new transitional regime.

The chaos surrounding the death of Gaddafi also demonstrates a lack of leadership and control within the NTC forces, illustrating the gap between leaders on the diplomatic scene and fighters on the frontline of the battle.

Pressure is now focused on the NTC to uncover the circumstances leading to Gaddafi's death and, if it is found that he was indeed executed by his captors, bring those responsible to trial.

The international outrage however has not been matched by the Libyan public, which puts the NTC in a difficult position. Fighters who have fought for the "liberation" of Libya expect to be rewarded for their efforts and are seen as saviours by their clans, so any prosecutions against them could lead to further tensions between the new leadership and its people.

The NTC was, however, supported by NATO following its promise to respect human rights and prevent reprisals, in opposition to the Gaddafi regime, known to have conducted torture on political opponents and other prisoners.

A failure to bring fighters accused of war crimes to court would thus discredit the transitional regime but also embarrass Western powers who have supported the revolution.