Saif Al-Islam Al-Gaddafi And The Telegraph|
My dear Libyan brothers and sisters.
May Allah's peace be upon you all. Recently, I was called on by the British High Court to give expert testimony in a case involving Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the Libyan dictator, and the London Daily Telegraph. The issue in question was an article the Telegraph printed five years ago that Gaddafi found libelous. I know nothing about the Telegraph's claims accusing Gaddafi junior of alleged, "international money laundering" and other alleged "illegal activities." Hence I limited my testimony to the situation in Libya, the issue of succession as well as what I believe to be the role Saif plays in the Libyan structure.
I believe in transparency and hence I have enclosed with this note Saif Al-Islam's as well as my statements to the Court. I have only a hard copy of his statement and therefore to maintain the authenticity of the document I scanned it as is. It is as it was presented by his Libyan lawyers, unaltered with its spelling as well as grammatical errors. This as well as the transcript of his cross-examination is public record and if I have the time I will also present it. However, I believe that other information is private information. Everyone, even sons of dictators have a right to some privacy and I will certainly not be the one to disclose it. Besides whose business is it how much he scored on such an exam except his? We are asking them to differentiate between their public and private lives and we should do the same.
Having said this let me warn you that both statements are long and if you do not like reading you had better stop here. My sincere apology I have neither the means nor the time to translate them. If one of you wants to do that, so that more Libyans can have access to them, he/she has my permission and thanks.
Mansour O. EL-Kikhia, Ph.D
Part I: Mr. Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi's Statement
Witness Statement: 3rd
Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
QUEENS BENCH DIVISION
SAIF AL-ISLAM GADDAFI
- and -
TELEGRAPH GROUP LIMITED
(formerly THE TELEGRAPH PLC)
WITNESS STATEMENT OF SAIF AL-ISLAM GADDAFI
I, SAIF AL-ISLAM GADDAFI of Bab Al Azizia compound, Tripoli will say as follows:
1. I am the Claimant in this action. I have previously sworn an Affidavit in this matter on 18 July 1996 ("my Affidavit") and a short witness statement, dated 22 May 2000. I make this statement to set out my personal background, to deal with various allegations made by the Defendant about me, and to tell the Court the truth about the things that the Defendant said about me in the articles it published on 26 November 1995 ("the First Article") and 3 December 1995, ("the Second Article") (and, together, "the Articles"). I have already made some comments about this case, in my Affidavit, and I therefore annex a copy of this ("SG1") and I stand by what I said in it.
2. I would like to begin by telling the Court a little bit about myself and my life, so that the Court can put the allegations made by the Defendant into context.
3. I was born on 25 June 1972, and am now 28 years old. I am my father's eldest son by his second wife, and have an older half-brother, Mohammed and 5 other brothers and 1 sister, Saadi, Moatessem, Hannibal, Saif El-Arab, Khamis and Aisha. Mohamed, Saadi, Moatessem and Hannibal are all now working. Mohammed, the eldest, is 29, and works for the Libyan Olympic Committee. Saadi who is 27, is a very big football fan and works for the National Football League. Moatessem is 26 and is a Lieutenant Colonel in the army, and Hannibal, who is 23, works for a public marine transportation company and spends a lot of his time at sea. My sister has finished her first degree in Tripoli and is now studying for a Masters in Law jointly between Universities in Tripoli and Paris. My two youngest brothers are also students.
4. My mother, who is mentioned in this case by the Defendant, lives her life in accordance with Arab custom, and rarely appears in public except for occasional charitable works and times when she has to be by the side of her husband, when welcoming foreign leaders for example. She is not a public figure in her own right, and she is nothing like a First Lady. The allegations that she has a political or commercial role in my country are absurd and offensive.
5. My family is very close. At the moment it is Ramadan, the time of fasting for Muslims, and we are all in Tripoli, so that we can eat with each other every evening when we break our fast. However, it is unusual for us to see each other this frequently. Normally my father spends a lot of his time travelling and I see him very irregularly, sometimes not for a month, sometimes only briefly and sometimes for half a day at a time. Certainly when I was studying in Vienna I hardly saw him at all. I am close to my father, and talk a lot to him when 1 see him, often about our family, but sometimes also about public affairs, on which we sometimes disagree (although we do not often fall out!). I know that I have taken many qualities from my father, especially my religious faith and my love of reading. I would describe myself as a religious person, and follow the teachings of Islam as much as I can in my private life.
6. One of the worst times in my family's life together was the US bombing raid on Tripoli and Benghazi (the two biggest cities in Libya) in 1986. I was only 14 at the time and my family were all together in our home in Tripoli. One night, without any warning, the bombers came and, for five minutes, rained rockets down on us. I was woken up by loud crashing sounds and explosions, it was absolutely terrifying. Our house had been directly hit. I knew that we had to go to a shelter which had been built within the house. Sadly, some of my brothers and sisters were too young to know what to do, and they became trapped in one part of the house when a corridor collapsed. They were stuck there until the rescue services arrived, and, when we dug them out we found that Hannah, my youngest sister, had died. She was just four years old.
7. My brothers and sister and I were brought up in Tripoli in my father's house. I went to a normal school, and followed the normal Libyan curriculum, which, as well as the ordinary subjects, includes things like military study. After completing my time at school, I discussed with my parents what degree I should take and we decided together on architecture. I had always had an interest in this subject when I was younger and it has now become my career, so I am very happy with the way that things worked out. I took a BSc in Engineering Science at the Al-Fateh University in Tripoli, the main university in Libya (its name commemorates the revolution in 1969). I was based in the Architectural Engineering and Planning Department and, as part of my degree, had to do a thesis. I had heard that there was talk of a Pan- Arab Library being constructed in Tripoli and therefore decided that my thesis should be a design for this, which I could submit as a proposal for the real building. Unfortunately, the project did not go ahead, although there was later a possibility of it being built in Egypt, which, again, did not happen unfortunately.
8. I completed the course in 1994. Every Libyan student, male and female, has to do one years military service at some stage, and I did mine after I had finished my degree, starting on 1 November 1994. Military service in Libya takes the form of either actual work for the Libyan military, or a "civil" type of service. In the year that I did my military service everyone did some form of civil service. I was based at the Industrial Research Centre in Tripoli, where I was asked to help with work on research into the feasibility of producing granite and marble in Libya. I worked six days a week at the centre during that year, which ended on 1 November 1995. I note that it is during this time when the Defendant says that I was negotiating a multi-million dollar currency deal. I need hardly say that this is ludicrous.
9. I note that the Defendant has also said that I graduated with the rank of "Major" from the Libyan Military Training Academy and have trained Libyan troops. This is completely wrong, my military training was limited to school where, like every Libyan schoolchild, I did military studies, including learning to use machine guns.
10. I have always been interested in foreign languages, and I have been able to do several foreign language courses, in French, German and English, in particular while I was in Austria but also during my first degree.
11. After completing my military service I decided that I would like to further my studies by enrolling for an MBA course in Europe. Libya has a socialist economy and I decided that it would be good for me to be exposed to the way that things are done in Western countries and to get a better idea, in particular, of how capitalism works in those countries. I know that the Defendant has said that I was interested in economic issues because it was intended that I would run my country in the future. This is not true at all. I wanted to study an MBA course, as I have said, in order to improve my knowledge of the West and because I think that for anyone to succeed in Libya in the future it will be important for them to understand how other countries work.
12. Unfortunately, because of the poor relations between my country and the western countries at that time it was very difficult for me to find a good university in a country which would give me a visa. For example, I tried to get visas for France and Canada, to look at universities there, but they were not granted and so I started looking at universities in Switzerland and Austria.
13. I first approached Webster University in Switzerland, in February 1997, and, having decided that I liked the university, I stayed in Switzerland for a bit to start a TOEFL course, in order to improve my English so that it would be good enough to follow the lectures. Unfortunately, the Swiss government then withdrew my visa (I will talk more about this later) and so I turned to Austria, a country with which Libya has always had reasonably good relations. I looked at the Webster University in Austria first, but did not like it, and then went to the Economic University of Vienna. Unfortunately their business course was not appropriate as it involved spending 6 months in the USA, which would not have been possible for me. However, the Chancellor of that University told me about a course at IMADEC University in Vienna, and thought that this would be appropriate. I then approached IMADEC University. Having passed an interview and, subsequently, a TOEFL test, I was admitted to IMADEC University in May 1998. I will say more about my time in Vienna later
14. I completed my MBA degree successfully and graduated in September 2000. I then returned to Tripoli, where I currently live (although I also spend some time in a region of Libya called the Green Mountains, in north-east Libya). I spend a lot of my time in Tripoli working for a business of which I am one of the owners (along with some friends of mine). The company is called the National Engineering Service and Supplies Company and is an architecture agency, designing mostly private buildings, such as houses and tower blocks. I do the designs for the projects, and enjoy doing this a lot. One of the projects which interested me most was designing the Gardabia Monument in Sirte to the Libyans who died in a big battle with the Italians in April 1915. My father's uncle died during that battle and so I was personally very keen to be involved in the project (to which I gave my services for free).
15. I had earlier, in 1996 worked on the designing of architectural projects at the National Consultancy Office, who allowed me to use their offices for a period, during which I worked principally on the design for a new mosque in the Green Mountains. I am aware that the Defendant has said, at different times, that I either have a 'key role' at the NCO, or that I am its "Head." Neither of these suggestions is true. I was never head of this office. The Head of the NCO, who I believe has been in change for at least the last ten years, is Dr. Shibany Ali. As far as a "key role" is concerned, this is just silly, I was only at the NCO for a short period of time, and was merely using their offices as a place to work on my own projects.
16. I have recently been able to obtain a copy of the application form and CV that I sent to IMADEC University, and I am aware that this paints a slightly different picture of the time that I spent at the NCO and at the Industrial Research Centre. The position with IMADEC was that I had to demonstrate to them that I bad five years experience of working, and for that reason I 'stretched' my time at the NCO and IRC in order to make it up to five years.
17. In terms of spare time, my interests include my pet tigers. I have four big cats, including two extremely rare White Bengali tigers, which live with me in Tripoli and which an Italian friend gave to me. I have had them since they were tiny cubs. I love playing with my tigers, although they can sometimes be a little rough!
18. I also enjoy falconry, and have some falcons of my own. I often go out into the desert with friends and we hunt together, usually for bustards, which are big birds. In fact, falconry is a traditional and popular sport in Arab countries and is particularly suitable to desert regions where the hawks are less likely to be lost. With bustard hunting, beaters go on ahead to disturb the bustards and make them fly into the air to be caught by the hawks, who have been hovering above waiting to spot prey.
19. I also like reading. I read widely but concentrate mainly on books about history politics, economics and religion. I also have to keep myself up to date on developments in my professional field, architecture, and subscribe to all the main periodicals.
20. I also enjoy painting when I can find time, and have been having painting lessons for a long time, since school. I paint mainly with oils, and paint in a particular style which combines realism, surrealism, impressionism and collage in each work.
21. Finally, in terms of hobbies, I like working out, and I also try to keep myself fit by swimming, and, during summer, playing football on the beach.
22. Although I am a strong believer in the teachings of Islam, and hope that I am a good Muslim, I think that I have quite modern views on things such as the role of women in our society. I strongly believe that women should be treated as equals of men, and think that it is essential that my country recognises this if it is to do well in the future.
23. The Defendant accuses me of being anti-Semitic. This is not true in itself in fact I have Jewish friends. What I do stand for is the opposition of Zionism and the State of Israel.
24. I will now move on to talk about the Articles that the Defendant published about me. I would like to say first that I was very upset and distressed by the allegations-made about me, which are simply not true. I was also puzzled. Why should the Defendant invent a story about me? I could not understand why.
25. I have never been involved in any international currency dealings of any kind, let alone masterminded them, and my father has certainly never suggested that I become involved in such things. As I have said, the idea that my mother would also be involved with such things is absurd. I have also certainly never been involved in any attempts to evade the United Nations sanctions which were imposed on my country. As I said in my Affidavit I have no connection with Safaforex SA, Mr Abdullah Safa, UBS Bank in Geneva or elsewhere, Bandaran, Mehdi Farshi or Dr Abbaspour Fahd.
26. However, by way of an update, I should mention one thing. Shortly after I made my Affidavit I was introduced to a Mr Safa by an old friend of mine. Hakim Masud. I believe that Mr Masud had been trying to do some business with him. We were introduced in the street, in Geneva. I recognised Mr Safa's name because my solicitors had asked me whether I knew him. Mr Safa gave me his card, and I kept hold of it and subsequently gave a copy to my solicitors. That very brief introduction is my only knowledge of Mr Safa, although I understand from my friend that Mr Safa is well known in business circles.
27. I found out about the First Article when my father informed me that he had been told that it had been published. He arranged for the Libyan Interests Section at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in London to send it to me. My friend Hisham Ibrahim was with me at about the time when it arrived and I discussed with him that it was wholly untrue. Hisham told me that he would call the journalist who wrote the article, Mr Coughlin, in order to correct what had been said. My English was not very good at that time, so I was happy for Hisham to make the call. I was not there when he did so, but I have read the statement that he has signed describing his conversation with Mr Coughlin, and this reflects what Hisham told me about the conversation at the time.
28. The Defendant then published the Second Article, relating Hisham Ibrahim's conversation with Mr Coughlin and implying that the purpose of Hisham's call was to invite Mr Coughlin to Libya so that he could be killed. This suggestion is extremely offensive, and I am very surprised that a newspaper can publish such hurtful lies. Hisham Ibrahim had contacted the Defendant on my behalf to put the record straight. Rather than take seriously Hisham's attempt to correct matters, the Defendant instead chose to write a second untrue and hurtful story. I did not know what else to do. How could I correct this untrue story if the Defendant would not listen?
29. My father's advice was that I should sue the Defendant, because it was not right to allow them to publish such damaging lies about me. I therefore contacted Kamel El-Maghur, who I already knew, and his firm Maghur and Partners. Kamel El-Maghur is not only a lawyer but a man who has had a distinguished diplomatic career. He has been an Ambassador to China, Libya's representative at the United Nations and at OPEC amongst other things. He has represented Libya before the World Court and is internationally well-connected. He in turn, instructed my London lawyers, Eversheds.
The situation in 1995
30. As stated above, at the time the Articles were published, I had recently completed my first degree in Tripoli, and had just undertaken my military service. I was in the process of considering whether to take a second degree, and if so which course to take, and at which University. I will come back to the Defendant's suggestion that I am "a key official" in Libya but, at this points I would like to stress that in 1995 I was simply a student and nothing more than a student I was not in any position of power at all in Libya (and am still not) and so far as I am aware was not being prepared for any such position and this is still the case. Anyone who knows me would know that it is ridiculous to suggest I could have been involved in masterminding an international currency deal, which makes the story so puzzling.
31. I will now deal with some of the specific periods of time and events which the Defendant has chosen to highlight in its description of me. I would note, however that the Defendant has chosen to concentrate on matters which have occurred after the Articles were published. As a layman and being from another country, I do not understand why what I have done in recent years could justify writing untrue stones about me before then. If this Honourable Court had tried my case in 1996 or 1997 for example such matters raised now would not have occurred. What then would the Defendant have raised? Nevertheless, I am happy to assist the Court by dealing with these matters.
My time in Austria
32. I am aware that the Defendant has made a number of allegations relating to the time that I spent at IMADEC University in Vienna, and I would like to deal with those allegations now. Firstly, I believe that the Defendant has said that I was 'given' my place on the MBA course and that I was somehow not qualified to obtain it on my own. I strongly resent this allegation, which is personally offensive. It is, of course true that I was younger than the average student on the course. It is also true that I did not have the same level of business experience as some other students on the course. However I did not benefit from any preferential treatment either in getting onto the course or once I was there. In any case it is stupid to say that IMADEC University would have favoured me. They are affiliated to Hayward University in California and run an essentially American type of course. American universities have no reason whatsoever to offer me any favours, and they did not do so.
33. In terms of being admitted to the course I prepared a detailed application to the University as to why I thought that I satisfied their criteria and then sat a detailed interview with Professor Kurtleube, who I had to convince that I had sufficient knowledge and experience to benefit from the MBA course. After the interview I was told that I could join the course, but only if I improved my English, which the University said was not good enough.
34. After the initial interview with the University I went away to work very intensively on improving my English so that I could satisfy the University that I would be able to follow the lectures, studying English courses at the Berlitz college in Vienna. Only when I had achieved the required TOEFL score was I admitted to the course. Once on the course I had to work very hard indeed, and I am extremely proud of the fact that I completed it successfully. It normally takes two years to complete, but I managed to finish it in one year eight months, something of which, again, I am very proud. I found the course quite hard work, but it was not intellectually too difficult. I also found the experience of living abroad and meeting foreign people very rewarding, and made a number of friends amongst my fellow students, who were largely either German or Austrian. I still go back to Vienna fairly regularly to visit friends.
35. In terms of my living arrangements in Vienna, I lived in a house that I rented with two friends of mine, Fathi Lagha and Faisal Zahrawi. They were not my bodyguards in any official sense, although they would have protected me if there had been any problems. They were basically just my friends, who went with me to Vienna partly to keep me company and so that they themselves could take courses and experience living abroad. The rental for the house was, in my first year, paid for by the Libyan Government, who sponsor many thousands of Libyan students abroad. However, I subsequently decided to fund my studies myself, and therefore did not benefit from State support after the first year.
36. Of course, as the son of the Leader of Libya I have access to much nicer accommodation than other students would be able to get, and it is true that the house in which we lived had a swimming pool and a sauna, and it also had a cellar, although as I do not drink alcohol, we did not store wine in it! However, the Defendant's suggestion that 1 was treated as "a senior member of the Libyan Government" while I was in Vienna is ridiculous. I was certainly treated as a member of my father's family, but that is not the same thing at all. It is true that I was chauffeured in a car bearing diplomatic plates, but this was solely for my own protection. However, I had no "entourage" whilst in Vienna. As I said, I had a few friends living with me most of the time, and that is all. It is also not true that a 'group of Libyan diplomats' arranged my course in Vienna. Of course, because of who my father is, the Libyan Ambassador accompanied me to my first interview with IMADEC, but that is all.
37. Turning to my tigers, as I have said, these were a gift from an Italian friend of mine, who obtained them from an Italian zoo. When I arrived in Vienna I discussed the tigers with the Mayor of the City, and with the head of the Schonnbrun Zoo. They both said that they would be delighted to have my tigers, which arc very rare, in Vienna, and we therefore arranged for them to be transported. I am aware that there were certain formalities which had to be completed, but I have no knowledge of the convention to which the Defendant refers. The Libyan Embassy in Vienna looked after the formalities for me. As far as I am aware, it is not unusual for zoos to 'borrow" animals from other zoos so that they can be seen by a different public. I was certainly delighted to have my tigers nearby, because it meant that I was able to go and see them and play with them. I have no reason to believe that the tigers were allowed into Vienna by the Mayor as a result of any fears on the part of the Austrian government about the intentions of the Libyan government (as the Defendant suggests).
38. I will now turn to my friendship with Mr Haider I first met Jorg Haider at a reception at IMADEC University which took place after I had been in Vienna for some time. I believe that Dr Joksch, the President of the University, is a member of the political party of which Mr Haider used to be leader and presume mat it is for this reason that Mr Haider was invited to the reception. I was introduced to Mr Haider and, having struck up a conversation, we found a common interest, in that we both disagreed with the policies of the previous Austrian Government.
39. By way of background, the reason that I was personally extremely annoyed with this Government was because, in 1997 (at which time I had already been living there for some time and had been accepted by IMADEC University) I was informed by the Government that they were going to refuse to extend my residence permit, which would have, obviously, prevented me from studying. Fortunately, the Libyan government treated this insult to me very seriously and threatened to deny Austrians visas to enter Libya if the decision was not revoked. The Austrian government changed their mind very quickly, and I was allowed to stay. A similar incident occurred in Switzerland in 1997 when the Swiss government refused to extend my visa and the Libyan government threatened sanctions.
40. This disagreement with the then Austrian government meant that Mr Haider and I had something in common, namely we were both opposed to that government. I was therefore interested in Mr Haider's ideas, and we met subsequently on many occasions and became friends. I am aware that Mr Haider is criticised in the West for his views and is a controversial figure. I am also aware that he is a very popular and charismatic politician and Governor of the region of Carinthia in Austria. Beyond that I see no reason to comment on his views. He can speak for himself.
41. At some point during my time in Vienna Mr Haider expressed interest in doing business in Libya and for this reason I arranged an introductory meeting for him with my father. I do not believe that it was a business meeting, but subsequently Mr Haider went to Libya with a delegation for a second meeting, which he organised for himself. I am personally very happy that as a result of this, the province of Carinthia has been able to conclude some business deals with Libya. However, I have no personal knowledge of these deals, and have not been involved at all in either their negotiation (I was in Austria at the time Mr Haider met my father) or implementation. I have not really kept in touch with Mr Haider since I left Vienna when my course finished.
42. Finally, to deal with another allegation made by the Defendant. I have never been involved in negotiations relating to the production of Russian MiG aircraft. This allegation is extraordinary, and is wholly untrue. I have been shown a different article from the Defendant's newspaper which suggests that I had been proposed as a possible manager of a MiG plant in Austria. This is ludicrous, and seems to be another example of the Defendant trying to paint extraordinary pictures of me without any factual basis whatsoever.
The Libyan National Association for Drugs and Narcotics Control (DNAG)
43. The DNAG is a charitable, non-governmental body which was created in 1994 as a result of an approach made to me by a friend of mine, Mohammed Al-Misuary. He wanted me to be the figurehead or patron. It was a young persons' idea for dealing with a young persons' problem and I thought that setting up such a body would be a good idea. The Libyan government does a lot of work on the criminal aspects of drugs (eg preventing smuggling and the selling of drugs), and also with medical treatment, but I thought that it would be useful to be involved with a charitable body which worked on the social and medical aspects of drugs, for example trying to educate people about their effect and helping to cure addicts (rather than treating them as criminals).
44. The aims of the DNAG are therefore to teach the Libyan people about drug abuse, to train doctors and medical workers in dealing with drugs, and generally to do all we can to prevent drug abuse in our country. We have received help in this from the United Nations - the DNAG (and indeed the GICF) have a strong relationship with the UN office in Tripoli, and they help us out by providing us with information and assistance.
45. Particular examples of the work done by the DNAG are:
45.1 We arc in the process of constructing a centre in Libya, which will be called Al-Irada, and which will act as a headquarters for the DNAG, and also as a clinic to treat those who have become victims of drug abuse.
45.2 We have organised conferences in Libya, which like-minded organisations from abroad have attended, and also send people abroad ourselves to be trained in drugs related matters, especially to the San Patriganao centre in Italy.
45.3 As part of the DNAG's fund-raising activities we organised an important football tournament (in late 1997), which involved the fop Italian teams from Lazio and Internationale coming to Libya to play a Libyan team. We have also organised non-drugs related conferences in order to raise money from businesses.
45.4 Finally, we publish a magazine called Hannibal which contains a mixture of features, some of an educational nature (about drugs) and some of a more general nature, on subjects which interest people generally.
46. I am the DNAG's President - my role is essentially to supervise what the charity does, to give it some direction, and to work on its strategic goals. I am also its public face. The charity raises its money through fund raising, in which I play a part. In response to things that the Defendant has said, I must say that the DNAG has never received any money from the Libyan government, it survives solely on the basis of donations and subscriptions. Also, my father had no involvement in the creation of the DNAG and did not have to give his 'approval' in order for it to be set up. I believe that there is a Libyan law which governs charities, and I think that the DNAG complies with any legal requirements.
47. My contact with the DNAG varies. Sometimes I go a few months without being involved in the charity and sometimes I have contact much more regularly. Certainly, whilst I was in Austria completing my MBA, I had very little contact with it.
48. I know that the Defendant says that the DNAG is not a genuine charity. This is simply not true. The organisation, as I have said, works to help sick people, and to educate and to train people to combat the spread of drugs. Like the GICF it relies on donations and subscriptions and receives no government funding whatsoever. If the Defendant does not think that this sort of activity is charitable then I am not sure how else I can describe it.
Gaddafi International Charity Foundation (GICF)
49. The GICF was founded by me in 1997. The idea behind it is that it will act as an umbrella organisation within which various charitable activities, will be carried out. The principal activity at the moment is the DNAG, which since 1997 has been brought within the GICF. However, there are a number of other charitable activities which the GICF pursue, including work in the field of human rights, prisoners, "the Southern Brothers", persecuted people and an organisation called the Society of Libyan Arab Airline Victims (a reference to an incident in 1972 when a Libyan Arab aircraft flew over Sinai by mistake, and was shot down by two Israeli military aircraft).
50. The human rights charity work is mainly in Libya. It tries to prevent abuses of human rights in the country. For example, if the police arrest someone without a warrant, or imprison someone without a trial, the GICF tries to speak up for them.
51. The "Southern Brothers" charity helps the poor people of the desert regions to the south of Libya, mainly in Chad and Niger. We have a branch in Chad and through this have helped the desert peoples with the digging of wells, and have also established cultural centres and clinics. The people in this region, who are fellow Muslims, are recognised to be some of the poorest in the world, and, as neighbours of Libya, I think that it is right that we should assist them where we can.
52. The organisation dealing with persecution works mainly to assist the Muslims, and others, in Palestine and Lebanon who are persecuted by the Israeli State. For example, it is presently supporting a law suit which is being brought against the member of the Christian Militia who is believed to be responsible for the massacre of Muslims in 1982. It also arranged for 2 huge airlifts of medicines and medical equipment to Amman in Jordan, to be used to help those who have been injured in the current confrontation with Israel. We are hoping to open a branch in Gaza.
53. As far as the prisoners charity is concerned, this body works for the release of various prisoners throughout the world, for example the hostages who were recently captured in the Philippines, of whom I will say more later.
54. The Defendant has denied that these organisations are charitable, and calls the GICF a 'de facto instrument of Libyan state foreign policy'. The Defendant also says that the GICF is somehow 'used by the Libyan regime' for the purposes of their foreign policy. These allegations are simply wrong. The GICF is entirely charitable and the Libyan government has absolutely no involvement with it at all. Indeed, the activities sometimes come into conflict with the government, for example when the complaining about the imprisonment of someone in Libya.
55. The government, also, for the sake of clarity, has no role whatsoever in supporting the GICF, which obtains its funding from three sources, subscriptions, donations from countries, people and companies (which the board of the GICF has a discretion as to whether to accept) and an investment body called One Nine, (a reference to 1 September, the date of the Libyan Revolution). One Nine is an investment company which takes some of the money given to the GICF and invests it in order to increase the ability of the charity to fund projects in the future.
56. A number of allegations have been made about the role of the GICF and myself in the Philippines, in particular with regard to the hostages who were recently released. I would like to take this opportunity to correct some of the many mistaken statements which have been made about my involvement in the Philippines.
57. Historically there have always been good relations between the Philippines and Libya. My father took an active interest in the country for some time, and was partly responsible for the signature of two peace accords, one in 1975 and the second in 1996. However, he has not been involved in the Philippines since then. The signing of the second peace accord was an important moment for the Philippines, and I think that the calm period which followed it persuaded my father that he no longer needed to be involved in the country. I have only become involved in the Philippines in the last two years, when, through the GICF, I have taken an active role in assisting the Muslims in Mindanao, in the Southern Philippines. This area is a Muslim enclave which has been undergoing problems related both to poverty and to political disagreements with the rest of the Philippines.
58. I know that the Defendant has said that I became involved in the Philippines in 1995. This I not true, I had no involvement in the country at that stage (although, as I have said, my father did). My involvement began in April 1999, when I made a 9-day visit to the country. I went in a personal capacity, and as head of the GICF. I did not, as the Defendant has suggested, go as my father's envoy, and I certainly did not go as the Libyan Foreign Minister! The former Libyan Ambassador to the Philippines, Rajab Abdul-Azziz Azzarouq (he is not the current ambassador as the Defendant says) travelled with me to act as a guide to the country and to help me. The purpose of the visit was for me to assess what work the GICF could do in the Philippines, and to meet with the President of the Philippines in order to discuss the projects planned by the GICF with him.
59. As a result of the trip, the GICF is now building medical centres and schools in Mindanao. They have also helped to establish a oil palm plantation, which will be used to produce oil. thereby reducing unemployment in the region and helping the local people. The plantation is of an initial size of 20,000 hectares, but it is hoped that this will be expanded to some 60.000 hectares. These projects are not financed in any way by the Libyan government Part of the money for them comes from the GICF, but we have also been able to encourage investment in the region by a variety of businesses from the south-east Asian region (they are financing the plantation, for example). We have also been able to negotiate with banks on behalf of Mindanao and have arranged for several loans to be made to the region. The total of the sums invested in the region through our work is around six million US dollars. My particular role has been to head up the project and, in particular, to reassure and encourage investors, who were previously frightened of investing in the South Philippines.
60. I acknowledge that I do have some influence with the Muslim people in Mindanao. I am important to them partly because they remember my father's involvement in their country, and because, by virtue of my name and the charities with which I work, I can bring much-needed funding to the area. The people there listen to me, and regard me as someone special.
61. It is for this reason that, in the past, I was involved, in December 1999, in trying to persuade me MNLF and me MILF (two organisations representing Muslims in the Philippines but with differences in objectives) to cease fighting with each other and, indeed, to unite. I did this because I believe that this is the right thing for these Muslim peoples to do, to unite. My father and the Libyan state had no influence on what I was doing. However, I have never been involved, as alleged, in the entry of the MILF into the Organisation of Islamic Conference. I have simply taken an interest in the political situation in the region because I now know the peoples of the region through the charitable work of the GICF, and because I want to do all that I can to improve me lives of these people, who are extremely poor and who are a Muslim minority.
62. Turning to the hostage situation, it is true, as has been reported, that I was involved in negotiating the release of the western hostages who were captured by Abu Sayyaf in April of this year. Because of my close involvement in the region in the past I was informed of the hostages capture soon after it happened. I was immediately concerned for the fate of the hostages and about the situation generally, which I thought threatened the peace of Mindanao. I spoke to Abdul Azzarouq and asked him to travel to the Philippines in early May on behalf of the GICF to see if we could help resolve the situation at all. I wanted to show the people of the region that the GICF and I were there and were able to help them.
63. It is true, as has been reported that a member of the German security services, Augustine Heining, contacted me and asked me to assist them in obtaining the release of the German hostages held. The GICF and I were already involved in the situation at that stage, and so I was happy to help, and knew that the people there would listen to me.
64. A large amount of negotiating then took place, conducted mainly by Abdul Azzarouq as far as the GICF arc concerned (I did not get involve in the talks myself, although I was always kept informed of what was going on). As is known, the negotiations eventually led to the release of almost all the hostages (I am unsure as to whether the remaining American hostage, Mr Schilling, remains in captivity, but we did not intervene on his behalf, as it emerged that he had been running guns to the rebels).
65. Contrary to many of the reports in the newspapers, Libya and the GICF did not pay any money on their own behalves by way of ransom. As I have explained, the GICF were already involved in a number of investment projects in the region and these have remained unaffected by the hostage crisis. However, some ransoms were paid by some of the Western governments whose citizens had been taken hostages. Some of these ransoms were paid directly to the GICF, which passed them on. The rest of the ransoms were funded by loans taken out by the GICF. These loans were taken out on the basis that they would be fully repaid by the governments concerned.
66. Although I am aware that Libya itself will have gained some political benefit and goodwill from the involvement of myself and the GICF in the release of the hostages, this was never my reason for becoming involved in the crisis, and it is not my concern. As I have said. I became involved purely out of personal interest, and my concern for the hostages and the local Muslim peoples. In terms of my father's role in the hostage crisis, it has been widely suggested that it was him rather than the GICF who secured the release of the hostages. This is not the ease. My father was not involved at all with the GICF's initial role in the Philippines, and only intervened at a later stage when the hostage crisis was at its height. Otherwise he had no involvement with my work in the Philippines at all. I cannot be responsible for the way the press reports my actions. I guess that my father is more newsworthy than I am.
67. I am well aware that there has been a lot of press articles about the release of the hostages in the Philippines, most with different versions of what they think happened. I would like to stress that what I have said above is the true story about the crisis - most of the reports have been very inaccurate.
68. Now that I have completed my MBA, I am currently considering what to do next. I am considering studying for a PhD. and trying to decide which subject to study. In the meantime I am spending my time, as I have said, working with my company as an architect.
69. I understand that the Defendant claims that I have an important political role in Libya. The first thing that I would like to say about this is that I do not entirely understand why this is an important issue. From my point of view, it seems clear that the things that the Defendant said in the Articles are not true, and indeed that much of what the Defendant has said since about me is also untrue. I do not understand why what I have done since the Articles were published is so important.
70. In any event, it is simply not the case that I play a political role in Libya, or that I had such a role in 1995.
71. As I have said above, I think that it is inevitable that, by virtue of who my father is, the way that I live my life is not identical to the way that an ordinary Libyan citizen would. It is, of course true that I am afforded certain privileges which other Libyan people might not be. I also, by virtue of who my father is, end up meeting members of the families of leaders of other Arabic countries. For example, I went to visit Crown Prince Abdallah of Jordan in February 1999, to pass on my family's best wishes for the health of his father King Hussein, who was seriously ill at the time. I would never describe this sort of visit as political. All I can say is that I was not appointed to undertake this visit, or any of the others which the Defendant rcfers to, by the government, and did not go in any official capacity at all. I made the visit at my father's request. If that means I represent my country then that is the full extent of it.
72. I made some of my trips abroad at my father's request (for example the visit to Morocco in September 1999), but I do not believe that this makes the visit 'political'. It simply means that my father wished to convey a message (in the case of the trip to Morocco, he wished to offer condolences to King Mohammed on the death of his father) and, asked me to pass on those wishes on his behalf. In this case, for example, an official Libyan delegation attended the funeral but I did not. Some of the trips abroad arc to see people who I would describe as my friends, for example the son of the President of the UAE Mohammed Bin Zaid who I see fairly often, and who accompanies me on hunting trips with my falcons sometimes.
73. The Defendant has also said that I have 'fostered commercial relations with Egypt, through an alleged business link with the Egyptian President's son. This is, once again, untrue. I have only met A'ala Husni Mubarak once, and have no relations commercial or otherwise, with Egypt.
74. The Defendant has also made various other small allegations, which I will deal with now:
74.1 I said in my Affidavit that I had never applied for a visa to enter the United Kingdom and that, therefore, no application has been refused. That remains the case today.
74.2 The Defendant has said that I 'publicly and officially expressed my support for Uday Hussein'. This is not the case. I have met him before and in 1996, on the occasion of his severe injury, my brothers and I sent a letter wishing him a speedy recovery.
74.3 On the subject of Ahmed Ibrahim, I would like to add something to what I said in my Affidavit. It is ridiculous to suggest that Al-Fajr Al Jadeed is distributed throughout cities in the Arab world and talk of a printing contract relating to the newspaper being worth three million dollars is also nonsense. As far I know the paper is a government printed publication and is only distributed in Libya.
74-4 I am not involved in Revolutionary Cleansing Committees.
74.5 I have read about the death of Ali Mehmed Abbuzeid and that is the full extent of my knowledge. The suggestion that Mr Abbuzeid was murdered with my knowledge is extremely hurtful and offensive. I ask where the Defendant gets this sort of untrue and nasty allegation from?
74.6 I am not aware of any purge of the National Oil Corporation, the Oasis Oil Company or the Oil Research Centre and if there were "purges' I certainly was not involved with them. I do know, however that there was a plan to move the Oasis Oil Company from Tripoli to Ras Lanuf, a considerable distance from Tripoli and that this may have been very unpopular to its employees. Perhaps the Defendant is referring to this. Otherwise I do not what the Defendant is talking about.
74.7 Similarly, I was not involved in any way in any deportation of foreign workers as alleged.
74.8 The Defendant has said mat I have a 'key role' in LAFICO, the Libyan Arab Investment Company. This is simply not true, I have never had any role with this body. I also have no connection with Asian Brown Bovery, nor have I imported computers.
75 In any event, whatever view the Court takes of my position now, as far as 1995 is concerned, it is simply not true that I had any sort of political role then. As I say above, I had only just finished my first degree and my military service, I was 24, and, other than one or two visits abroad, had simply not done anything that could even vaguely be described as political. I am aware that the Defendant has highlighted comments I made on a trip in 1992 to the UAE about the sanctions against my country. If these comments arc "political, they were my own thoughts about the situation. I think that any other Libyan at the time would have said the same as me, as the sanctions placed a great deal of economic pressure on my country.
76 I understand that the Defendant claims that at the time of publication I had no reputation outside Libya which was capable of being damaged. I disagree. In relation to my reputation, first of all, I am very well known in Libya because of my relation to my father. I am also now better known because of my activities with the GICF. In addition, I am known throughout the Arab world. Arab countries take an interest in each other, and I have also travelled to many Arab countries including the UAE, Iran, Jordan, Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia. Sometimes these visits have been as the representative of my father, and therefore give me a higher profile.
77 I have also received a lot of publicity lately for two reasons. The first is that during my recent studies in Austria there was much press interest in me, partly due to my friendship with Jorg Haider. Also the recent activities of the GICF in relation to the Philippines have caused a great deal of press interest around the world. In relation to England, I believe that I would be well known both now, and in 1995, in the Libyan community and in the non-Libyan Arab and African communities. There is also a very big connection between the United Kingdom and Libya through oil and commercial connections, and I therefore believe that there would be many British people who would be aware of who I am. For those people who knew little about me, it may be that the first they heard about me was this untrue story published by the Defendant. The allegation that I have been involved in a fraud on another country remains uncorrected and is a black mark on my honour and character.
Progress of the Case
78 I am aware that the Court has expressed some concerns about the time that this matter has taken to come to trial. As I said in my previous Witness Statement, I understand that the delays have mainly been due to procedural hearings and appeals, and in particular to changes in the law which had to be taken into account. These matters are not within my control, and I look to my lawyers to explain the complicated issues in this case concerning procedure and law. I confirm that I have always wanted this matter to come to trial as soon as possible, and I am extremely concerned at length of time it has taken for me to have the opportunity to clear my name.
79 What is clear to me is that in the last few years the Defendant has had a lot of time to "prove" its allegations. It has also had a lot of time to put the record straight and apologise for the disservice it has done for me. It has chosen not to. This is not what I would expect from a responsible newspaper interested in the truth of the allegations.
80 The contents of this Witness Statement are true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
Saif AI-Islam Gaddafi
Part II: Dr. Mansour O. El-Kikhia's Statement
Witness statement: 1st
M O El-Kikhia
Exhibits: "MEK " – "MEK "
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE HQ 0002601
QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
B E T W E E N :
SAIF AL-ISLAM GADDAFI
- and -
TELEGRAPH GROUP LIMITED
EXPERT WITNESS STATEMENT OF DR MANSOUR O. EL-KIKHIA
Farrer & Co
1. I, Mansour O. El-Kikhia, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Texas at San Antonio have been asked to state my expert view on the internal political structure of the country of Libya. I was born in Libya, extensively researched and written on the social, political, and economic conditions in the country. My major publication is Libya's Qaddafi: The Politics of Contradiction by the University of Florida Press. I have testified on US-Libyan Affairs before the United States Congress, conducted US-Libyan policy workshops for the United States Department of State. I have also advised the Immigration Authorities in Canada on political, economic and religious conditions in Libya. I have been a frequent guest commentator on the Voice of America on Arab issues including the Lockerbie Affair. Various media ranging from Brazil's leading newspaper El Globo to the Austrian Broadcasting Service have also interviewed me.
2. The Libyan State
2.1 I have now had the opportunity to evaluate the case brought by Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi against the Telegraph Group Limited and do feel quite confident that rendering an opinion in this case. Let me first of all define my parameters in this case. I do not know Mr. Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, nor have I ever met him in private or public. My expertise is focused on the political, economic, and cultural milieus of Libya and not on the private lives of the Gaddafi clan including Saif Al-Gaddafi. My interest in their private lives is limited to events that encroach upon their public lives. In cases such as this, ascertaining the truth is a difficult prospect due to the fact that very little is substantiated in the Libyan milieu. The country of Libya is a modern dictatorship governed by the iron fist of Colonel Muammar Al-Gaddafi who came to power in September 1, 1969 as a result of a military coup that overthrew the legitimate government of King Idris al-Sanusi. Since 1969 Libya has been under a continuous reign of terror. More serious is the fact that Colonel Gaddafi's putsch created a political and economic environment deficient in transparency which in turn resulted in an information vacuum. Few if any know what is going on where. The media is state controlled and all sources of public information are censored for content and style. Inevitably this leaves a lot of latitude for rumours. Yet because Libyan society is such a small society with wide spread family ties, few rumours have no grain of truth to them.
2.2 All laws were suspended in 1969 along with the constitution of the state. The country continues to be governed by edicts. There is no formal code that delineates the rights and obligations of citizens vis-à-vis the state and each other. There are no laws that guarantee a minimal protection of these rights. Indeed there are no structures or institutions that guarantees rights to anyone. The Libyan regime has gone to great lengths to deny the citizens of Libya these rights as early as September 1, 1969. Since then every edict promulgated by the Libyan regime had the intent of further violating the rights of Libyans. A case in point was "The Protection of the Revolution Act of December 11, 1969" which promised execution to any individual participating in any manifestation of opposition against the aims of the revolution. Act 45 of April 1972 prescribed the death penalty to any exercise of the freedom of assembly or expression including the right to strike or sit-in. Act 71 of May 1972 the regime not only banned political activity but also equated any independent political activity such as belonging to a political party with high treason punishable by death. In 1974 the regime nationalised private property. Act 5 of 1988 established the peoples' courts. These were separate entities from the existing judiciary that had no laws to adjudicate with. These peoples' courts had illegal wide powers to investigate political offences without authorisation from the legal structure, to indefinitely detain and to sentence to death. Perhaps the most important manifestation of the abuse of power was "The Revolutionary Legitimacy and Revolutionary Program Document of March 1990." This edict has in essence made Colonel Gaddafi infallible. The act made any observation or directive by the "Leader of the Revolution" binding, enforceable and not subject to review by any authority in or outside the land. Since then more edicts were enacted to bring discomfort to individual Libyans. The "Code of Honor" Act of March 9, 1997 went further than any of its predecessors in discomforting Libyans. The Act designated as criminal offence any act that affects peoples' development. What distinguished that act from other acts was the scope. The act targeted any family, clan, tribe or community that gave sanctuary or did not report to the authorities any individual charged with that offence. The collective punishment included but was not limited to the deprivation of services (such as water, electricity gas food supplies, and communication) to suspension of all state and local serves and development projects (I am indebted to the Libyan League for Human Rights for their October 6, 2000 piece "Philippine Hostages and Libyan Hostages" that contained much of the information on the these acts).
2.3 Libyans are unable to change their government structure constitutionally. They are unable to establish political parties. They are unable to choose their own representatives. They are unable to voice their opposition to haphazard irrational dictatorial policies. The current official governmental structure is no more than a façade. Ministers have no power and cannot speak on behalf of their ministries. The real power continues to lie with Colonel Gaddafi and a small inner circle made up of either blood relatives or tribal allies that have proven their loyalty to him personally.
2.4 Libya's political structure is a reflection of the thinking of Colonel Gaddafi. He envisaged a state government that was a hybrid of a Monarchy and a Republic. In real terms that is an impossible task to achieve due to the contradictions between the systems. Libya's present system is an attempt at achieving the impossible. The official structure represents the Republic and the unofficial structure represents the Absolute Monarchy. There is an illusion that the official structure is in charge of the state of affairs, yet no law or administrative decision can be made without the blessing of the Absolute Monarch. The two structures are parallel to each other and they rarely intersect. The host of revolutionary committees represents the informal structure and they are accountable only to Colonel Gaddafi, There are no laws to limit their abuses or punish them for their excesses. They take pride in murdering innocent Libyans at home and abroad. They torture, imprison, hold without due process, use resources at will, and engage in unethical behaviour at will. They do all this with the full knowledge and blessing of Colonel Gaddafi. Their task is to rid Libyan society of any opposition in action, in thought, or in words to the Colonel. Even verbal criticism of the Colonel is tantamount to treason and is punishable by death.
3. The Internal Milieu
3.1 During the past two decades coup attempts, instability and popular discontent has forced Colonel Gaddafi to increasingly rely on members of his own tribe, the Qathathfa, to guarantee his personal security and the security of his regime. The Qathathfa tribe is a rather small tribe that was evicted from Cyrenaica to the barren Sirtica region during the nineteenth Century. Poor and illiterate, many of its members lived, until the revolution, a nomadic life herding livestock. The monarchy denied them membership in the prestigious Cyrenaica Defence Forces that were reserved for individuals from loyal tribes of the Green mountain of Cyrenaica. The Qathathfa, however, were able to join the armed forces and the police force, both of which were considered by the monarchy to be secondary organisations.
3.2 Colonel Gaddafi promoted junior Qathathfa officers in the armed forces and entrusted them with sensitive military posts. He also encouraged and facilitated the transfer of his kinsmen from the police to the armed forces with the same ranks where they were also promoted and entrusted with important positions
3.3 Today there is a large number of Gaddafi junior officers headed by a core of Colonels. Most prominent among these Colonels are Ahmad Qathaf al-Damm al-Gaddafi, Massoud Abdul-Hafith al-Gaddafi, Misbah Abdul-Hafith al-Gaddafi, Khalifa Ihnaish al-Gaddafi, Omar Ishkal al-Gaddafi, Al-Barani Ishkal al-Gaddafi, Omran Atiatallah al-Gaddafi, Imhamad Mahmoud al–Gaddafi, Khamis Masoud al-Gaddafi, Saad Masoud al-Gaddafi, Hassan al-Kabir al-Gaddafi Ali al-Kilbo al-Gaddafi. Gaddadfa Colonels are individually and jointly responsible for the preservation of the regime. Periodically Colonel Gaddafi assigned them new responsibilities or changes their portfolios. Until April 1995 the Central Sector (Sirte) was under the command of Colonel Khalifa Ihnaish, the Southern Sector (Sabha) under Colonel Masoud Abdul-Hafith, the Benghazi Sector under Misbah Abdul-Hafith, and the Tobruk Sector under Ahmad Gaddafi al-Damm.
3.4 A failed coup attempt in February 1995 prompted Colonel Gaddafi to make changes that gave his cousins even more encompassing powers. Ahmad Qathaf al-Damm's territory was expanded to include all of the Cyrenaica, Khalifa Ihnaish was appointed the Commander of Armaments and Munitions, Massoud Abdul-Hafith was promoted to Commanding Officer of Military Security in Libya, Al–Barani Ishkal was assigned to command domestic military security; Ali al-Kilbo was given the sensitive post of protecting Gaddafi's residence, he was made the commanding officer of the Azazia barracks guard. Leadership of the revolutionary committees was given to Mohamad al-Majthoub al-Gaddafi, and information and propaganda was assigned to Colonel Sayed Qathaf al-Damm.
3.5 It is quite apparent from the above that all of the assignments overlap to ensure that even members of Gaddafi's tribe find the task of toppling the Libyan leader difficult.
3.6 Abdullah al-Sanus, married to Safia Farkash's sister, was until recently Gaddafi's right-hand man and second in command. He was the de facto internal and external security chief and the Libyan leader's confidant. He was indicted and found guilty by a French court for the downing of a UTA aircraft over Niger. Moreover he is thought to be the mastermind behind the Lockerbie affair and the kidnapping of the Libyan human rights dissident Mansour Kikhia from Egypt in December of 1993.
3.7 Colonel Gaddafi is thought to be creating what is termed as the Permanent Command Committee for the Revolutionary Committees. Indications are that the new committee is made up of five members, three of whom are Ali Mansour al-Gaddafi (information), Ahmad Ibrahim al-Gaddafi (ideological consolidation), Mohammed al-Majthoub al-Gaddafi (relations), and Abdullah al-Sanusi (external affairs). No new candidate has emerged for internal organisation since the "accidental" death of Abdulsalam al-Zadmah, one of the regime's most despised henchmen. The committee seems to be on hold for the time being. The newly emerging voice in Libyan foreign affairs is Musa Kuwsa. Mr. Kuwsa runs external security and one of the regime's henchmen was personally responsible for the death of Libyan dissidents in England and Europe. He was also held responsible by the UK Government for the death of WPC Fletcher an English Police Officer in front of the Libyan Embassy in London in 1984.
3.8 However, what is quite evident is that in spite of the endless list of security organs with their ephemeral and sometimes, illusionary power, the main force that is making itself felt on the Libyan scene is the one exerted by, Colonel Gaddafi and by extension his children. Events during the past few years have demonstrated that there is no power in Libya aside from the Colonel to restrict any of their actions. Like the first-borns of other Arab leaders, Saif al-Islam would indeed be the most logical choice to be groomed for a position of prominence in Libyan politics. This dynamic accolade appropriately falls on the eldest son of the leader's present wife; his son by an earlier marriage would not be likely to succeed unless very exceptional and very close to the leader. This is not the case with Mohamed, who has not attained the 'Crown Prince' status of the Claimant. The Claimant is accurately described as the 'Crown Prince' or 'heir apparent'. There is no doubt that a Gaddafi will succeed Gaddafi senior and all the evidence is that Saif is not only the logical successor (as the eldest of the present marriage) but is also the child whom the father most trusts to maintain his legacy.
3.9 In over thirty years of merciless dictatorship Colonel Gaddafi and his supporters have succeeded in impoverishing, imprisoning and destabilising the lives of too many Libyans. Violence, instability, graft, injustice and terror are only a few attributes of the present regime. Unfortunately, the violent demise of Colonel. Gaddafi's regime would likely be accompanied by violent retribution against his tribe and supporters. It is extremely difficult to know who is assigned what in Libyan politics where neither position nor title really matters, but one thing is certain and that is as far as a Colonel Gaddafi is concerned, to avoid or postpone the possibility of his overthrow, blood will continue to be much, much, thicker than water.
3.10 The only group immune to all this chaos is the inner circle. The Claimant was the first of his children have joined that inner circle. They, like their father, claim that they do not have positions of authority in the country. They, like their father, may be outside the theoretical or formal structure in terms of position. However, in reality, they conduct themselves like crown princes and a princess. They live a life of privilege and ease at government expense. They get what they desire and are immune from prosecution. There is no accounting when it comes to the Colonel's children. This can be demonstrated by the example of Saadi, who is a full Colonel in the Libyan Armed Forces, chair of the Libyan Olympic committee, and head of the Itihad football club. He lives the life of a free spender jetting around the globe at government expense wherever he wishes. His latest economic venture into sports was the purchase of 5 percent of the Italian football club Juventus, with the option to buy up to twenty five percent of the club ( See The Scotsman, The dictator, the Italian football legends and a £14m transfer fee, January 11, 2002 ). More important he is directly responsible for the death and injury of scores of Libyans, when he order his private guard to open fire with live ammunition on a crowd of youths angry at him for stopping a football match in which his team was losing to one managed by his older brother Mohammad (See The Guardian Footballing son is latest Gadafy to drop in on London, September 26, 2000, also see Middle East Times, Aisha Qadhafi favoured to succeed her father, 4/9/00). In another incident when an angry crowd of soccer fans led a donkey through the city of Benghazi with a football jersey bearing the number that Saadi wears in protest for making the local Al-Ahli team lose a match, Saadi ordered the overnight physical demolition of the club building, put two of the club board members in prison and ordered al-Ahli to be demoted to the second division (See ibid, also see the Guardian 2/26/00). According to the Sunday Times, he is known to most Libyans merely as "Hooligan" (See the Sunday Times Cheated football fans lead unrest against Gadaffi, September 3, 2000). I have found the Sunday Times piece reflective of the power of Gaddafi and his family. I have therefore appended it to this statement along with the 2001 Human Rights Report published by the United States Department of State.
3.11 Saif Al-Islam, Gathafi's first born from his second wife Safia Farkash is less flamboyant than Saadi but is more powerful. As head of the so-called "Gaddafi Human Rights Charitable Foundation" he has emerged in public as an important actor on the Libyan scene. In spite of his constant claim to the contrary he is believed to be, by most Libya analysts, the Libyan dictator's heir apparent. Saif came out of the shadows when as head of the Gaddafi Foundation he mediated the release of Western and Malaysian hostages abducted by the Abu-Sayaf Group that had been fighting the Manila government for more than thirty years. He arranged payment of millions of dollars (the exact sum is not known) for the release of hostages. Saif never gave a figure but maintained that it was much less than fourteen million.
3.12 Since the Philippines affair Saif has gone out of his way to advertise his global activities. The Gaddafi foundation website idolises him much like his father idolised himself. He leads Libyan indirect investment in Africa as well as in high profile areas that give him the greatest amount of publicity. His most recent was the evacuation of families of some Taliban supporters from Afghanistan through Pakistan to Tripoli. The Gaddafi Human Right Charitable Foundation is proving itself to be a vehicle through which Saif Al-Islam can play a considerable role in the politics and economics of Libya without the institutional constraints that would necessarily limit such activity. He can pretend, like his father, that he holds no official position in the governmental structure of the country. But, in fact, the Charity foundation is emerging as a vehicle for direct Gaddafi investment in Europe and the rest of the world. The latest acquisition is 50 million shares in the Irish oil exploration company Bula Resources. The acquisition was made in December 2001 by One Nine Investment International, a subsidiary wholly owned by the Gaddafi foundation. The purchase price was for the sum of 900,000,000 Euros (562,000,000 pounds sterling). No citizen in Libya can do such things unless they are a part of the leadership.
3.13 Furthermore, no Libyan citizen can negotiate with foreign politicians on behalf of the Libyan leader unless they are in a position of authority. There is no doubting in my mind that Saif Al-Gaddafi was on occasions acting as an informal foreign minister for his father even though he always claimed that he has no official position in the Libyan state. Significantly, this is the same argument made by his father. I do not know Saif Al-Islam Al-Gaddafi, but I do know that the Libyan leaders' children have a free hand to do what they want to do. There is no one to stop them and in Libya they can get away with anything they do. Rules and regulations that apply to others do not apply to them.
4. Internal Terrorism
4.1 I can also sympathise with the author of the Sunday Telegraph article in his refusal to go to Libya to discuss the article with Saif Al-Islam. He had reason to fear for his life. The current regime in Libya is not to be trusted. Kidnapping, assassination, and terrorism are a few of its hallmarks. History has demonstrated that the Libyan regime has engaged in one or more of these activities on numerous occasions. The last was the kidnapping of the human rights activist Mansour R. Kikhia who was kidnapped by Libyan agents in Cairo Egypt in 1993. Another prominent figure to disappear in Libya was Mr. Musa Al-Sadr the Lebanese Shi'te leader who vanished while on a trip to Libya. In 1986 a Canadian reporter died under mysterious conditions. A Jordanian reporter vanished in Libya after writing a piece on Colonel Gaddafi's daughter Aisha. Mr. Gaddafi was so angered by the article that according to published reports he displayed his anger to the Saudis who own the magazine (Al-Majalla). The journalist Mr. Jihad Abdullah was terminated from his job and is said to have vanished. When dealing with the Gaddafi clan fiction is more plausible than the truth. The Libyan regime can commit atrocious acts and deny committing them. Merely taking the regime's word that he would not be harmed is not enough to guarantee the security of the Sunday Telegraph reporter. He after all insulted and perhaps foiled the plans of one of Gaddafi's sons and perhaps Colonel Gaddafi himself. Had he gone to Libya but refused to agree to withdraw the article and make an official apology, then serious harm could have befallen him from the Gaddafis or from their acolytes. Life is very harsh in a land devoid of laws and human rights.
4.2 I have personally witnessed the barbaric public execution of individuals in public squares and have seen on television kangaroo courts passing death sentences on young men who were instantly hanged on makeshift gallows. The proceedings of the trial and the execution were televised nationally. Given these and other events, the regime does not think twice about carrying out an execution of what it perceives its enemies or those who place it in bad light. Indeed the only laws available are laws of coercion to insure that individuals do not critique the regime or its members.
4.3 Colonel Gaddafi Sr. is perhaps the only dictator I am aware of who openly and publicly urges his supporters to physically liquidate his political opponents. In doing so he claims that their death sentences are ordained by the will of the people and not his will since he has no position of authority in the country. His opponents or "stray dogs" as he likes to refer to them have been targeted world-wide. Their homes in Libya demolished, property confiscated, and families either incarcerated or forced to disown them. In 2001 the regime tried to use the Interpol to arrest some members of the opposition after charging them with fabricated crimes. And after failing in that endeavour, Colonel Gaddafi's regime posted huge rewards in an attempt to capture some of them. Using the anti-Muslim hysteria that gripped the world in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 events in New York, the Libyan regime accused some of its opponents of belonging to Islamic fundamentalist groups and of having close ties with the outlawed Ben Laden's Al-Qa'ida. All the accused have no terrorist ties and their only "sin" is to be opposed to the anti-democratic activities of a regime that for many years headed the civilised nations list of supporters of global terrorism. In February of 2002, kangaroo courts sentenced two Libyan scholars to death for belonging to what the regime termed as a political party. It also passed life sentences on 70 professionals (doctors, engineers etc) and a variety of sentences on 70 others. Contrary to Saif's claims, the Gaddafi Human Rights Charity Foundation did not intervene to protect the rights of these individuals.
4.4 During the Lockerbie sanctions period, Colonel Gaddafi began relying more and more on his blood ties to maintain his power. He actively pursued this activity during the nineties by placing more of his blood relatives in sensitive positions. All his supporters especially his children were beneficiaries of his regime. How could Saif pay for his travels or education in Austria and live the lavish life that he did? It is well know that his father was certainly not wealthy and nor was his family. On issues concerning the Gaddafi clan there is no difference between public and private funds or charitable and non-charitable organisations. When it comes to Colonel Gaddafi relationship with others is a zero sum game, i.e. if one is not with him then one is against him. There is no middle ground.
5. Claimant's witness statement
5.1 While most Libyans have little say in the running of their lives and the spending of their wealth, Mr Saif Gaddafi has control over both. In over 20 years of research on Libya, I have yet to find a single free and independent source that does not classify Colonel Gaddafi's system in Libya as a dictatorship. Saif is a product of that system yet he neglects to evaluate his role and position in such a structure. To repeat: Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi is the son of an absolute, ruthless dictator. He continues to be the beneficiary of that dictatorship, and increasingly exercises its power. No-one in Libya dares to cross or contradict him - to do so would risk their livelihood and their life, and that of their family members. What are the names of the companies that competed with his for the right to design these monuments and the buildings he writes about? There is no competition - he does what he wants. At 22, he can command the expenditure of millions of dollars of government money, not because he is a good architect but because he is, as his father's son, a great power in the land.
5.2 I wonder if Mr Saif Gaddafi really believes what he is maintaining in his statement about his sojourn in Austria. He insists that in his education he was not given any special treatment, yet I would be interested to know how many Libyans received the same treatment, or, for that matter, how many Austrians seeking to follow in his education footsteps did. I find it difficult to believe that an ordinary Libyan or Austrian can be permitted to import and lodge two tigers in the city zoo. He admits that his house in Austria was paid for by the Libyan government, but claims that the Libyan government sponsors many thousands of Libyan students abroad. What he neglects to mention is that the Libyan government does not pay for their accommodation, nor does it pay for friends to accompany students. The government gives them a stipend and students are free to live where they choose. None, however, can afford to live in the lavish surroundings that Mr Gaddafi lived in. He is quite right that, as the "son of the leader of Libya", he has "access to a much nicer accommodation than other students would be able to get". But arguing that it is "ridiculous" for the Telegraph reporter to suggest that he was treated as "a senior member of the Libyan government while in Vienna" not only demonstrates further naiveté, but also half-truths. The fact remains that he always possessed a diplomatic passport, was chauffeured to his first interview with IMADEC University by the Libyan Ambassador (see point 36). The Libyan Embassy in Vienna arranged for his tigers to be transported to Austria, and he personally arranged for one of the most controversial political figures in European politics to meet his father and engage in business activities. Neither the Libyan ambassador in Austria nor even the Prime Minister of Libya can do what Saif Al-Islam did. Hence, I find his classification as "a senior member of the Libyan government" to be an understatement.
5.3 Saif asserts that he is not a serving member of the Libyan government. He has no need to serve in the government when his former and present position and status is superior to any formal position in the Libyan government. Furthermore, there is a precedent for his claim. His father refuses to assume responsibility for Libyan domestic and foreign policy, which must conform to his edicts, also claiming that he holds no official position in the State. Indeed, Saif Al-Islam's statement is perhaps one of the first instances of an authoritative Libyan source confirming that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is indeed the "Leader of Libya". The Libyan strongman refuses the title of Leader of Libya and prefers Leader of the Revolution and no official governmental structure in his "State of the Masses" has either disagreed with that assertion nor has a nominal leader for the country ever been appointed by Colonel Gaddafi, given elections in the country are illegal.
5.4 At this point, I would like to clarify the issue of 'non-governmental', 'charitable' organisations in Libya. Today, and since 1976, there are no private, non-governmental, charitable organisations in Libya. There is no such organisation which is not run by a member of the Gaddafi family. Saif claims that the Gaddafi International Charity Foundation ("GICF") is involved in human rights and prisoner issues but physical and psychological human rights violations, including torture, are the norm. Little of what the GICF does is not targeted towards Saif Al-Islam's own self-aggrandisement and his role in Libyan foreign policy. One needs only to look at the organisation's website to see that, in reality, the organisation rotates around Saif and not charity or human rights. Last year, the GICF opportunistically took credit for the release of Libyan prisoners, many of whom had spent over ten years in Gaddafi's prisons without even being charged with a crime. Nothing was heard from the organisation when a kangaroo court sentenced 150 Libyans in March of 2002 to long prison sentences and two to death for exercising the basic right of peaceful association to an organisation not sanctioned by the State. Saif Al-Islam's categorisation of his organisation as a human rights and charity NGO is a shameful display of half-truths.
5.5 In my firm opinion, the GICF is a "de facto instrument of Libyan State foreign policy". An official representative of the Libyan government (Mr Azzarouq) was seconded to Saif's organisation and conducted the negotiations in the Philippines. Saif paid the money and negotiated on behalf of the government. He is the personification of the Libyan State when he acts in this way - as a Gaddafi invested with his father's power.
5.6 In the absence of transparency, it is difficult to prove the source of GICF's funding, but it must be from the Libyan State Treasury. More than one billion euros were available to finance investments made by his subsidiary One Nine Investment Company. In addition to that huge sum, one needs to add other millions he has spent on projects in South East Asia and Africa. His organisation is a further drain on the Libyan Treasury, given the fact that he airlifts medical equipment as well as other cargo and employees using the State-owned Libyan Air Airlines at State expense. His travels in private jets are also undertaken by the State-owned Libyan Arab Airlines. In all these respects, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi exercises the power of the State and dispenses the funds of the State, without any accountability.
6.1 Saif Al-Islam Al-Gaddafi is in a privileged position as the first born of the second wife. He has the freedom of action to basically do what he wants, go where he wants, and buy what he wants. His lavish lifestyle, which includes the raising of wild animals, is testimony to this. He has emerged as an individual who makes State policy, even though he denies this.
6.2 For example, his comments about Libya leaving the Arab League to an Arab newspaper Al-Itihaad (3/21/01) on the eve of the Arab Summit in Amman last year were enough to get the Secretary General of the Organization to visit Libya and inquire about the validity of that view. Colonel Qaddafi Sr. reiterated that view in the Summit and invited the Arabs to abandon the Arab League and join an African Union. There is no doubt in my mind that, even in the early 90s, he was acquiring the authority to make and state policy. On many occasions he was his father's unofficial ambassador and countries took his visits more seriously than any visit by an official Libyan ambassador. A case in point was his stay in Austria. His Austrian sojourn led directly to the establishment of relations between Mr. Joerg Haider, the former head of the Austrian far right Freedom Party and Colonel Gaddafi Sr., and most probably through Mr. Haider, with Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia.
6.3 The organisation that Saif heads is for all intents and purposes his organisation to do with what he please. It has no meaningful or charter, no elections, no worthwhile by-laws, nor a defined and clear mode of accounting and fund raising. The organisation has no public list of contributors nor regular fund raising activities. With the exception of the newly formed Aisha Gaddafi Charity Fund no other individual is permitted to establish a charitable organisation in the country. Besides the structural prohibitions, the ability to collect funds in a country impoverished by idiosyncratic economic policies is almost non-existent. In the case of Saif, he decides how much he wants from the Libyan treasury, and there is no one to dispute his wishes. There is neither accountability nor transparency. No one in the country dares to ask how much is earned and how much is spent. In fact, the Foundation dispenses many millions of the State's petro-dollars, as surely as if it were a major department of government. It is truly an arm of the State of Libya, in which Saif, as its head, is a key functionary.
6.4 Thousands of pages of documents published by international organisations provide little and mostly an incomplete record of direct Libyan investment outside Libya. Few, if any, hear or know of how much is invested where. Organisations such as the one headed by Saif make transparency even more difficult. The state controlled Libyan media rarely informs the population of where their wealth is being invested or given away. Mr. Saif Al-Gaddafi's organisation is not, in reality, a private non-profit organisation, it is a public governmental organisation pretending to be a private charity. But it is this merging of the public and private sector that leads anyone studying Libya to charge Saif Gaddafi with fraudulent behaviour, since he uses public funds unaccountably, yet pretends they are private donations.
6.5 Perhaps the greatest concession the Gaddafi government has ever made was to agree to the trial of its citizens by a Scottish court in The Hague. In February 2002 while on a visit to Paris, Saif Al-Islam made the offer to compensate relatives if the American government, in return, lifted the American embargo of Libya. In his interviews with the press he claimed Libya's innocence of the Lockerbie affair yet maintained that Libya was non-the-less ready to compensate the families of the victims of Pan Am 103. He compared the Lockerbie affair to the O.J. Simpson trial in the United States. Saif was apparently justifying the spending of uncountable sums of money to compensate for a crime against civilians that the Libyan government claims to be innocent of. But in what capacity is he negotiating? He cannot claim to be an ordinary citizen and yet negotiate on behalf of the Libyan regime. He cannot claim to be an ordinary citizen and yet have the power to spend many millions of dollars from State funds. It is all so obvious that he is exercising the power of the State of Libya, of which he is, and has for some years been, a key figure of authority.
6.6 Saif Al-Islam is a son of a ruthless dictator. Most of the individuals that Colonel Gaddafi surrounds himself with are by and large "yes-men." Few of them if any are of the intellectual sophistication to be ideologically committed to his ideology. Colonel Gaddafi Sr has his most committed following from his children and his blood ties. They have most to lose should the regime fail. In my opinion, Saif, who says he loves and obeys his father, would follow his father's orders, even if they involved illegal actions. Legality to Colonel Gaddafi Sr. has never been an issue. He sincerely believes that all political and economic systems that do not adhere to his thinking are inherently illegal and hence could be bypassed. On this basis, he urged the other states to ignore the UN sanctions, and would not think it illegal or in any way demeaning to launder money so as to breach them. He regards opposition to him and his family as illegal, hence there is nothing unlawful about murdering oppositionists.
7. I have read the relevant Statements of Case in this action and the articles complained of which were provided to me with my instructions by Farrer & Co. Also explained to me by Farrer & Co was my overriding duty to assist the Court as an expert, which I fully understand and with which I have complied in preparing this expert witness statement.
8. The contents of this statement are true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
MANSOUR O. EL-KIKHIA
April 2, 2002__________