Mismari: I saw the two women who were raped and I was mortified; Gaddafi’s assaults were often handled by paying out compensations (3).

Mismari: I saw the two women who were raped and I was mortified; Gaddafi’s assaults were often handled by paying out compensations (3).

Amman - Ghassan Charbel |

 

 

I was surprised by seeing Gaddafi bathe his hands in a deer’s blood; he said: You have no idea about the benefits of washing one’s hands in warm blood.

 

 

 

Rulers are human. They hit and miss. They forgive or hold a grudge. They have excesses and abuses. They make mistakes in politics and personal conduct. They maneuver and they lie.

The Americans once punished their president, Richard Nixon, for what he had done in Watergate. They concluded that he had broken the law, lied to his people, and violated their trust. Before that, the Americans took pleasure in reading about the escapades of President John F. Kennedy, and about the women who snuck in into the White House from a secret door, when the First Lady was not there. President Bill Clinton then joined the club of scandal-stirrers, and the whole world came to learn the name of an ordinary young woman, called Monica Lewinsky.

French presidents, meanwhile, were not all like Charles de Gaulle, fixated on making – and writing – history. Instead, the French also took pleasure in reading stories about President Valery Giscard d'Estaing, and how he had once crashed into the milkman’s car, as he was returning at dawn to the Elysee from a mysterious nighttime visit. Jacques Chirac, for his part, did not lack in attractiveness or rumors, and Francois Mitterrand was an attractive man who knew how to seduce, and both his wife and his daughter from his mistress were present at his funeral.

These stories of love and infidelity were never absent from the lives of many leaders, including Mao Zedong, whom his supporters once believed had no time for young women and adventures. Yet none of these stories involved violence, coercion and brutal sadism.

The Libyan leader, however, was of a different breed altogether. He was violent and sick. This is what the testimony of Nuri Mismari, former Chief of Protocol in Libya, reveals about Muammar Gaddafi’s conduct. Occasions used to be invented in order to snap pictures of women invitees. Then the choice would be made and professional women were charged to lure whoever was chosen. Here, Mismari does not quote others; he only conveys what he saw – which was appalling and terrible indeed.

Another story that would have been impossible to believe were it not for the fact that Mismari witnessed it, involves Gaddafi inserting his hands in the chest of the deer he had hunted in Romania, and his talk about the benefits of warm blood. I am not used to record such aspects in the Yatazakkar [He Remembers] series, but I decided that publishing this kind of information gives a clear picture about the personality of a man who had harmed his country and the world, in violation of all rules and norms.

Below is part 3 of the testimony of the Colonel’s keeper of secrets:

Q. Who were the leaders that Gaddafi had a good relationship with?

A. His relationship with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani was good back then. The Emir mediated to achieve rapprochement between Gaddafi and the Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz. This took place at the home of Sheikh Hamad in Doha, during the Arab summit there, and I was present.

Q. Is it true that Senoussi told King Abdullah in the meeting: “I planned to assassinate you without the knowledge of the leader”?

A. Yes, but in fact it was a good meeting, according to what I saw.

Q. Were you present in Sharm el-Sheikh?

A. Of course.

Q. What happened there?

A. Gaddafi was not an easy person. He sometimes said one thing but meant another. His talk often carried two meanings. A while ago, Gaddafi used to curse the people of the Gulf, using the cruelest of insults. At the summit, he talked about Iraq, and said, “You forced the Americans to come to Kuwait. Saddam invaded Kuwait, and the Kuwaitis are ‘alright’, and used their money to buy the Americans to come and defend them – his words were a kind of insult – and made us face a fait accompli, as happened in the Bay of Pigs”, meaning when the Americans under Kennedy invaded Cuba on account of the Soviet missiles there. This is when the quarrel between him and King Abdullah happened, with the King railing against Gaddafi. I was sitting behind him as I had always done. I tried to talk to Abdussalam Treki, who was the foreign minister at the time, but he left and the session was adjourned. President Ali Abdullah Saleh tried to calm Gaddafi down, and asked him to return to the hall so that the issue can be discussed. But Gaddafi shoved Ali Saleh who nearly fell over to the ground. After the quarrel, they insisted on Gaddafi entering the hall again, so he went to the reception lobby, and those present tried to calm the situation, but animosity had already occurred. Gaddafi tried to find excuses and said that he meant the bay in Cuba. He also said that if anyone should blame him, it should be the Iraqis, and no one else. On that day, the current Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, was sitting next to him. Back then he was the foreign minister. Gaddafi turned to him, but Sabah Al-Ahmad took it well.

Q. The incident took place, so Gaddafi decided to conspire to assassinate King Abdullah?

A. I was not part of the security circle to say that I heard or saw anything.

Q. But some who were involved were arrested in Saudi Arabia.

A. Of course, people were arrested, including someone from Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s office, and another from the office of Saadi Gaddafi.

Q. In your opinion, is it possible for an assassination of this magnitude to be planned without consulting Gaddafi?

A. Verbal attacks, yes, but killing, no. It had to have been ordered by Gaddafi.

Q. Have you ever heard him talk about Saudi Arabia?

A. Yes

Q. Why did he hate the Kingdom?

A. Gaddafi grew up in a very poor surrounding. His father was a shepherd who worked for the Wali of Fezzan, during the early period of Libyan independence. Libya was divided into three states, Tripoli, Cyrenaica and Fezzan. Gaddafi was a mischievous boy, who hated any well-off person. The father of his cousin Ahmed Gaddafi al-Dam, was a lieutenant in the motorized division. They were well-off and helped Muammar’s family. Muammar Gaddafi held a grudge against the wealthy, especially royal families. Furthermore, there is Saudi Arabia’s political, economic and Islamic weight. This is not to mention that Gaddafi was fickle, violent and bloodthirsty.

Q. Can you give us another example of his bloodiness?

A. Once, we were on a hunting trip in Romania. During the trip, Saleh Bou Farwa was shot dead. Farwa was one of the Free Officers close to Gaddafi, but this is a long story.

Q. Was it a premeditated murder? Did they take advantage of the hunting trip to kill him?

A. Yes.

Q. Who killed him? Gaddafi’s people?

A. Yes. There is a story behind this murder, related to the mother of Gaddafi being Jewish.

Q. Saleh Bou Farwa said that Gaddafi’s mother was Jewish?

A. He received information from Italy with documents that prove Gaddafi’s mother was Jewish.

Q. Was she Jewish?

A. Yes.

Q. You seem to be sure. How so?

A. Ammar Daou, who was the ambassador in Italy, received the same information with documents and so on. After he left Libya to Italy, he was assassinated, and it was blamed falsely on those Gaddafi called ‘the stray dogs’, i.e. the Libyan opposition, which is not true. The press attaché was also assassinated, because he was aware of this issue.

Q. So all those who knew that Gaddafi’s mother was Jewish were killed?

A. Yes, they were all liquidated.

Q. So this took place during a hunting trip in Romania. What year was that?

A. 1980, I think, during Ceausescu’s days.

Q. Was Gaddafi’s relationship with Ceausescu strong?

A. Yes, it was very strong, although Ceausescu’s wife hated Gaddafi.

Q. Why?

A. I don’t know.

Q. You said Gaddafi was bloodthirsty. How so?

A. During that trip, I remember that they brought the deer that Gaddafi hunted. When they opened the animal up, Gaddafi stuck his hands inside, and bathed them in the deer’s blood. It was a strange and terrible sight. The pictures are still in Libya.

Q. He bathed his hands in the deer’s blood?

A. He placed both his hands inside the deer’s belly, rubbing them in blood. I unconsciously asked him: Why are you bathing your hands in filthy blood? He said: You don’t know the benefits of washing one’s hands in blood when it is still warm.

Q: Do you believe he ever killed anyone with his bare hands?

A. I think so.

Q. Like whom?

A. I do want to say anything conclusive about things I did not directly witness, but the man was merciless.

Q. Do you have another example about Gaddafi’s perversion?

A. He was terribly sexually deviant…young boys and so on.

Q. Since you were his chief of protocol, did they bring him young boys to the tent?

A. He had his own boys. Many of those who were with him were boys and they used to be called ‘the services group’. All of those were boys, bodyguards and harem for his pleasure.

Q. Did he love women a lot?

A. I believe it was sadistic. I remember once, when I was in the office, I received a phone call from the head of hotel security, telling me that an African woman staying there was sick and that she wanted to meet me. I told the caller that I wasn’t a doctor and did not understand these things. The hotel operated under protocol affairs. I told him to contact a doctor to see her. But he said: Mr. Nuri, I think you should come. Here, I said: What is your problem, are you giving me orders? He replied: No, but I think you should see her before the doctor does.

At that point, I took a car and went to the hotel. When I got there I asked the person who had called me about what happened. He said: Go up to the room and see for yourself. I entered the woman’s room. She was from Nigeria and her name was Dr. (…). She was in a very bad condition. She had been bitten and scratched, and she was bleeding, with bruises visible on her body. She was sobbing, so I asked her about what happened and she said: He attacked me.

I said: Who? In the hotel? She answered: No. I went to meet Gaddafi and he attacked me.

Q. What did you do?

A. I asked for a doctor to be brought in for her. I contacted Ahmed Ramadan, who was Gaddafi’s Office Director, but who was closer than Bashir Saleh. I asked him to send the command doctor over. He hesitated at first, but I was persistent, and he obliged. He then asked me why I requested the command doctor, when any doctor could have been called in, and I explained the situation. I then met Muammar Gaddafi and told him what happened, and he said: Don’t believe her. She is lying and the issue is all about blackmail.

Q. You told Gaddafi about what happened?

A. Of course. I said that the woman was there and was claiming such and such. He said maybe she did it to herself to blackmail him, but I said that the situation had to be dealt with. He replied: Fine, give her any amount of money. I remember that Ahmed Ramadan sent her a hundred thousand dollars, and it ended there.

Q. In what capacity did she meet him?

A. She said she was a doctor. Other than that, I do not know anything.

Q. Was she a doctor?

A. I don’t know, but they called her the Doctor. There were some people who were ‘special guests’ of the leader, and I had nothing to do with those guests except when it came to paying for their hotels and other expenses.

Q. So there was a hotel managed by the Protocol Department?

A. In the beginning, Al-Mahari was part of Protocol. After that, we dealt with all hotels.

Q. Do you recall any other similar incidents?

A. Many incidents happened. The second one involved the wife of a Swiss businessman. This nearly became a major disaster, but it later faded with no major repercussions.

Q. What was that incident about?

A. It was about the Iranian wife of a Swiss businessman who was part of an Iranian delegation looking to invest in the country. The lady met Gaddafi at night, and he assaulted her violently. I learned about it as we returned on the plane that belonged to the delegation, and we noticed that the security detail accompanying the delegation had detained a woman on board the plane. We also had with us Mohammed al-Huweij, who later on became the finance minister.

Q. Where did the incident take place?

A. It happened in Sirte, and has its own details. On the plane, I negotiated with them, and this is when I learned that Gaddafi had attacked the Swiss businessman’s wife. She was in a very bad condition.

Q. She was with you on the plane?

A. Yes she was in the bedroom of the plane. Her husband took me to her, and I found her in a terrible condition. She was bleeding. She told me about what had happened, and said that a woman accompanied by a female officer named Salma came to her and summoned her for a meeting. Initially, they told her it was an invitation, but Gaddafi entered later, called her into his office, and assaulted her violently. When I went to talk with the Swiss man’s wife, the security details (who were with the delegation) arrested the woman who was with us, who was the envoy that brought the delegation.

Q. They arrested her in mid-air?

A. Yes, as though it was a kidnapping. At that point I told them: What you are doing is dangerous, because the security services and the intelligence know we have left the airport on board your plane. An argument ensued between me and the Swiss husband. I told him that what he was doing was wrong, because before we would be able to leave Libyan airspace, military planes will be in pursuit.

Q. Did the Swiss have their own guards?

A. Yes, they had private security officers with them.

Q. Those were the ones who arrested the woman envoy?

A. Yes, the woman who was the cause of the assault.

Q. How did you handle the situation?

A. I told the husband first, we will not negotiate until they take the cuffs off the woman’s hands.

Q. Was she Libyan?

A. She was an Arab. I said: It’s not her fault. She just follows orders. Then I asked his wife: Did this woman try to lure you? She said no. I then asked her: Did they tell you it was an invitation? She said yes. This means that the other woman had nothing to do with it. At that point, they took the cuffs off. Mohammed Huweij was scared and cowardly and had the comportment of a dead man. He even praised me and said: I have never seen anyone as courageous as Nuri in that situation. What I did was that I convinced the Swiss man that he was making a mistake, and that the plane was going to be pursued because two important Libyans were on board, and because the plane has failed to enter Tripoli’s airspace.

Q. Who did the plane belong to?

A. To them. We had a plane, but they had insisted that we travel with them on their plane for a reason they had in mind.

Q. Was the airplane Swiss?

A. Yes. I told him you are free. If you want to go you can go, but this will cause you a scandal in your country, and you will be accused of a kidnapping, and you will gain nothing in the process. We thus reached an agreement. He said: Do you promise that I will not be arrested in Tripoli? I answered: I give you my word that neither you nor your wife or any person with you will be touched. This incident will remain between me and you. I then said to Huweij: if you say one word you will be finished, so he said that he agreed to everything I decided. We then landed in Mitiga Airport, and the delegation disembarked including the Swiss man and his wife; he was visibly frightened. The delegation left. They brought me a Swiss watch as a gift, but I said that I do not accept gifts.

Q. Did they ask for money?

A. He asked for $ 20 million in compensation for what his wife had suffered. But I said that I do not interfere in these matters.

Q. Did he get any money?

A. Later on, Huweij followed it up. The woman who was with us then told Gaddafi about what had happened. She said: Nuri acted and did this and that. I believe that Abd-al-Hafid al-Zulaytini, who was minister of the economy, organized a joint venture between this Swiss group and Libya.

Q. This practically meant that they received compensation, correct?

A. Yes, it was compensation in the form of an investment agreement. Gaddafi did many things like this. He liked to take revenge on people through their wives. I find it odd that Bashir Saleh did not break away from Gaddafi, and even Izz Al Din Hinshiri, who was minister of general security, and also in the intelligence, the chief of the Revolutionary Guard and then head of the Special Guard. I do not understand why they did not defect, because when I used to quarrel with Gaddafi, and was subsequently detained then released, I would go to Bashir Saleh’s office and tender my resignation, saying that I was leaving. But Bashir Salah and Hinshiri would tell me to calm down and would say: When the right moment comes for this, we will tell you. The two men had a plan but did not let me in on it. They would say I am impulsive and quick to be angry, and would ask me to calm down, saying that the time was not yet right. I didn’t know why. When the blessed revolution of February 17 came, I was extremely surprised that they did not join it.

Q. Did Gaddafi attempt to harass a woman minister or something like that? He met with Condoleezza Rice, the U.S. Secretary of State, correct?

A. He invited her to dinner, and when she entered his private suite, she saw her portrait in a frame, hanging on a wall in his suite. When she saw it, she was shocked. She asked him about it, and he said: this is an oil painting of you. But I don’t know what happened. This was one story. Gaddafi also tried to harass the foreign minister of Spain [Ana] Palacio.

Q. Did this cause an incident? Did Gaddafi really try to harass her?

A. The relationship was strong, but I had nothing to do with private visits.

Q. Were there any similar incidents to the ones involving the Nigerian and Swiss women?

A. Moral incidents as such always happened.

Q. Did he always pay in the end?

A. Yes. For example, Bashir Saleh was once summoned to Gabon by Gabonese President Omar Bongo. Saleh, and even Hinshiri, were discontent with Gaddafi’s behavior. Bashir told me, come, I want to see you in the office. So I said, how can you go to Gabon alone, and he replied that if he had not gone there, a disaster would have ensued. He said: When I entered to where Omar Bongo was sitting, he started a tape recording of a phone conversation between Gaddafi, the caller, and Bongo’s wife, the daughter of President Sassou Nguesso of Congo-Brazzaville. The woman later went mad, and moved to Morocco where she lived until her death. She was a truly beautiful woman. Gaddafi flirted with her. So the relations between the two countries chilled, but were later mended somehow. I did not ask about the details of the flirty phone call. Bashir Saleh was the one in charge. He was more involved in these issues than others, even when they partitioned the Libyan foreign ministry into a ministry of foreign affairs and a ministry of African affairs. While Treki was the one charged with the latter, and was permanently in touch with the Africans, Bashir was ahead of him. There was always a clash between the two men over African relations. Bashir Saleh sometimes did things behind Treki’s back, because he was Gaddafi’s chief of staff, so he did whatever he pleased, and had a good relationship with the Africans, being of a dark complexion like them.

Q. Did Gaddafi like both men and women?

A. Of course.

Q. Abdel Moneim al-Houni said before that Gaddafi is a homosexual. Is it true?

A. This is true. And Abdulrahman Shalgam also says that Gaddafi is both ‘negative and positive’.

Q. Did he face any problems concerning young boys? Did any of them ever make a complaint?

A. I heard things, but nothing directly. This was the purview of the services department, and I do not know what went on there.

Q. Did they used to bring him women from abroad?

A. They brought him all kinds of women. There was a woman in charge of these things. Her name was M.A.

Q. Her name was mentioned after the fall of Gaddafi?

A. She was in charge of these things. She reached a stage where she became Gaddafi’s personal envoy. She had ties with Cecilia Sarkozy and had influence in the Elysee more than I, the foreign minister or the prime minister had. This was because Gaddafi thought of her as his personal envoy. Gaddafi went too far in this. He used to take revenge on certain people by abusing their wives. The same woman I mentioned told me that Gaddafi sexually harassed Sarkozy’s sister and upset her, and that people close to Gaddafi tried to appease her by offering her a diamond necklace, which she refused to accept.

 

 

Part 4 tomorrow