Saif Qaddafi Mingled in London’s High Society

By
Photo: Mahmud Turkia/Getty Images

Colonel Muammar Qaddafi's second son, Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, ran in high-society circles — and even argued for participatory democracy in Libya — while living in London. Qaddafi, who was today named as a war-crimes suspect, reportedly mingled with London's elite, including billionaire hedge-fund investor Nathaniel Rothschild, the Labour Party's Lord Mandelson, and former Prime Minister Tony Blair. He also wrote a book for Oxford University Press titled Manifesto, calling for civil society and participatory democracy in Libya. Ironically, in it Saif wrote, "I believe it is the duty of the people to rebel against tyranny." The press canceled publication in February, due to "recent events in Libya."

Saif Qaddafi was particularly close to Nathaniel Rothschild, said a Libyan source in London. "He has a close relationship with Nat Rothschild. I know about a dinner in early 2010 that was organized in New York in Saif's honor where Rothschild was one of the principal organizers," he said.

"There must have been a dozen to 20 mainly American-Jewish business families. Saif spent the evening talking about what his father will and won't allow in Libya, the business opportunities in Libya and how they wanted to encourage influential business people to be involved." But, continued the source, Saif and his father collaborated on a carefully cultivated image, in which Saif would be perceived as a moderate reformer taking over his father's role, but in reality, Colonel Qaddafi would remain in power. "The truth is they were never intending to develop the country," said the source. "They were only interested in maintaining power, and the plan was to keep people poor."

Saif Gaddafi: dictator's son who mingled with British high society [Guardian UK]
Prosecutor Requests Arrest Warrants for Qaddafi [Atlantic Wire]