Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Friday, December 3, 2010     FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

Defection of top Ghadafi aide to France gives rise to conflicting explanations

LONDON — A top aide to Libyan leader Moammar Ghadafi has defected.


Nuri Al Mismari, identified as Ghadafi's chief of protocol, has defected to France. On Nov. 29, the Tripoli regime acknowledged the defection of Al Mismari, who disappeared in September amid a flurry of conflicting reports

"Al Mismari fled to Tunisia and was given asylum in France," a Libyan opposition source said.

Also In This Edition

Libya has issued a warrant for Al Mismari's arrest on charges of stealing government funds. On Nov. 29, France arrested Al Mismari, reported to have been the first senior Libyan official to defect in more than 20 years, Middle East Newsline reported. The French Justice Ministry said Tripoli would be given 30 days to submit documents to support the warrant against Al Mismari.

On Dec. 2, the Libya Press news agency, owned by one of Ghadafi's son, Seif Al Islam, reported that Al Mismari appeared to have been the target of Libya's security agencies, controlled by another of Ghadafi's sons. The agency said Al Mismari had actually flown to Paris for heart surgery and would later return to Libya.

The Saudi-owned A-Sharq Al Awsat said Al Mismari fled Libya in fear of arrest or assassination. The London-based daily, quoting Libyan sources, said Al Mismari used an official visit to an unidentified African country to divert travel plans and land in Tunisia. From Tunisia, Al Mismari relayed a request for political asylum in France.

Libya has confirmed its arrest warrant for Al Mismari, said to have arranged all of Ghadafi's trips abroad. Libyan officials, however, insisted that Al Mismari, whose son was killed in Tripoli in 2007, was no longer close to Ghadafi.

"After all, Al Mismari was an ordinary employee, and although he held a high post, he was an extremely marginal figure," a Libyan official told A-Sharq Al Awsat.

Opposition sources said Al Mismari's family was still in Libya and placed under house arrest. They said Al Mismari has assured France and Libya that he did not intend to join the opposition.

About Us     l    Privacy     l     l
Copyright © 2010    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.