Friday, March 11, 2011

Seif al-Islam: Face of Libyan regime was West’s darling

Gathafi’s son – who had used money to give Libya a positive image – now seen as real face of brutal regime.

Middle East Online,  March 10, 2011

By Loic Vennin – LONDON,

There’s only so much that money can buy

Educated at a top British university and dressed like an international banker, Seif al-Islam Gathafi symbolised a ‘new’ Libya — until he took up a gun and became the face of the regime’s fightback.

Now his old friends in London, where the 38-year-old mixed in elevated social circles at the finest hotels and restaurants, are turning their back on him.

Just a few weeks ago, Seif, the second of Libyan leader Moamer Gathafi’s eight children, found the door to his wealthy and powerful friends was still very much open.

He counted Peter Mandelson, Britain’s influential former business minister, and Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II and a controversial trade ambassador for Britain, among his acquaintances.

Andrew even invited Seif to Buckingham Palace on one occasion, and the Libyan was a guest at a birthday party in New York thrown by the tycoon Nat Rothschild.
Seif was even on friendly terms with Joerg Haider, the Austrian far-right leader.

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