Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s deposed leader, ordered his ambassador to Italy killed for revealing that his mother was Jewish, Gaddafi’s chief of protocol claimed in an interview.
Nouri Mismari served at Gaddafi’s side from 1997 to 2010. In an extensive five-part interview with Ghassan Cherbel, the editor of the influential London-based daily Al-Hayat, published as Gaddafi’s government officials go on trial in Misrata this week, Mismari portrayed his former boss as a sadistic, ruthless and power-hungry leader.
Mismari stopped working for the Gaddafi regime in 2010, and was the first Libyan official to join the opposition when the Libyan uprising erupted the following year, Al-Hayat noted.
According to Mismari, Gaddafi ordered his men kill an officer loyal to him, Salih Bu Farwa, during a hunting trip in Romania in the 1980s and mask the death as a hunting accident. The reason: Bu Farwa had received information from the Libyan ambassador to Italy, Ammar Dhu, documenting Gaddafi’s mother’s Jewishness. Dhu himself was subsequently assassinated in Italy, along with the embassy’s press secretary.
Mismari said that all who knew the truth about the leader’s mother were liquidated.
Alongside anecdotes about the diplomatic embarrassment caused by Gaddafi’s insistence on pitching his tent during official visits abroad, Mismari’s revelations are quite damning to world and Arab leaders, past and present.
“Gaddafi loved to scorn and humiliate world leaders,” Mismari said. “Imagine, he would tell me: ‘bring the slave,’ referring to the president of the African country he was about to meet. When the president left, he would say ‘the slave is gone, give him something.’” Mismari said Gaddafi would often racially offend African leaders in this manner.
Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, former British prime minister Tony Blair and UN chiefs Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-Moon are only four of the world figures who Mubarak humiliated. He pointed his shoes at Blair in humiliating fashion, and drove the others around in the desert for hours for no reason. Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi humiliated himself by publicly kissing Gaddafi’s hand, Mismari reports.
‘Imagine, he would tell me: ‘bring the slave,’ referring to the president of the African country he was preparing to meet. When the President left, he would say ‘the slave is gone, give him something.’
Twice, Mismari also claims, Gaddafi raped female visitors to Libya. The first — a Nigerian woman who was not only raped but also physically brutalized by Gaddafi — was referred to only as “the Doctor.” The other was the wife of a Swiss businessman. Both women were paid exorbitant sums of money for their silence. Mismari claims that Gaddafi would take revenge on his opponents by harassing their wives, as he did to the first wife of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Cecilia.