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Blair’s ‘deal in the desert’ with Gadaffi paved the way for Shell and BP contracts

The release happened after Blair’s notorious “deal in the desert” with Muammar Gadaffi paving the way for multi- million-pound oil contracts with Shell and BP.

(Saif al-Islam Gadaffi – above right)

THE SUNDAY TIMES

Headline: Gadaffi son may spill British secrets

Sunday 20 November 2011

Marie Colvin and Dipesh Gadher

THE London-educated Saif al-Islam Gadaffi, 39, always denied that he played an active role in politics, but he holds the key to the secrets of his father’s despotic regime.

His trial could prove deeply embarrassing if he chooses to reveal details of his once-cosy relations with British politicians including Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson, the former business secretary.

Mohammed al-Alagi, Libya’s interim justice minister, said yesterday that Gadaffi will be placed on trial in Libya and faces the death penalty.

With little to lose, Gadaffi may decide from his desert prison in Zintan to spill the beans on business deals and political promises made to the regime over the past decade.

Blair, who was described by Gadaffi Jr as a close personal friend of the family, may face searching questions if Gadaffi goes ahead and reveals the secrets of their deals including oil contracts and the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber.

Gadaffi was his fathers point man on the settlement of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 in 1988 which killed 270 people. His detailed knowledge of the negotiations that involved British diplomats and Musa Kusa,his father’s chief of intelligence, could prove explosive. The questions of who knew what, and who did what, have never been answered.

Abdurrahim el-Keib, Libya’s new prime minister, is expected to decide on Gadaffi’s fate this week and favours a trial in Libya rather than at the Inter- national Criminal Court in the Hague where he is wanted for crimes against humanity. He said last night: “We assure Libyans and the world that he will receive a fair trial.

The International Criminal court said its chief prosecutor will go to Libya within a week to discuss his prosecution.

Last night Gadaffi denied earlier reports that he had offered to give himself up to the Hague court. “It’s all lies. I have never been in touch with them,” he said.

David Cameron welcomed his capture. It is a great achievement for the Libyan people and must now become a victory for international justice too,” he said. Blair, Prince Andrew, Mandelson and the Rothschild banking family are among those who could be cited by Gadaffi in court.

They were among Establishment figures who courted him in the belief that Libya would pursue a reformist agenda while lucrative business contracts were on the agenda. Among the secrets he could unlock are the machinations that may have gone on under the former Labour government ahead of the release of Megrahi

Gadaffi Jr greeted Megrahi’s flight from Glasgow to Tripoli when he was freed by the Scottish authorities on “humanitarian” grounds in August 2009.

Megrahi is still alive even though doctors claimed he would die within three months from cancer.

The release happened after Blair’s notorious “deal in the desert” with Muammar Gadaffi paving the way for multi-million-pound oil contracts with Shell and BP.

Gadaffi Jr claimed that the former prime minister acted as a consultant to the Libyan Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund. Blair vehemently denies this. However, he has visited Libya at least six times since leaving office.

Five meetings with Muammar Gadaffi took place in the 14-month period prior to Megrahi’s release. On at least two occasions Blair flew on a private jet paid for by Gadaffi. But he denies influencing the Scottish government’s decision to free the Lockerbie bomber.

Just a week before Megrahi’s release, Mandelson discussed his case with Gadaffi Jr while on holiday at a villa in Corfu owned by the Rothschilds.

Mandelson later met Gadaffi at a shooting party at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, the Rothschild family seat.

Gadaffi’s revelations could also prove embarrassing for the French: he boasted that he had funded Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential campaign.

Gadaffi Jr could turn the tables on Labour, Editorial. Page 24

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