Gaddafi`s son denies plot to sneak into Mexico

Last Updated: Friday, December 9, 2011 - 21:03

Cairo: The son of slain Libyan leader Muammar
Gaddafi "vigorously denies" having plotted to illegally sneak
into Mexico to escape his home country after the fall of his
father`s regime, his lawyer said on Friday.

Al-Saadi Gaddafi fled to the neighbouring country of
Niger in September and the government there has given him
refugee status.

Mexico claimed on Wednesday that al-Saadi and three
relatives also had initiated plans to sneak into Mexico under
false names and take clandestine refuge at a Pacific coast
resort.

Defence lawyer Nick Kaufman, who has been involved in
several international criminal cases, told a news agecy in an email that al-Saadi fled Libya because he feared
for his life and is grateful to the government of Niger for
giving him refuge.

Kaufman denied that al-Saadi was involved in any criminal
wrongdoing, but said "it is hard to fault him for fleeing a
country where his life was in grave danger and he would
undoubtedly have met the same brutal fate as befell his father
and brother."

The elder Gaddafi and his family fled Tripoli as the
capital fell to revolutionary forces in late August during a
brutal civil war. The dictator and another son, Muatassim,
were killed after being captured by former rebels on October
20 and the circumstances of their deaths have been criticised
by human rights groups.

Mexico`s Interior Secretary Alejandro Poire said the plan
to bring al-Saadi Gaddafi to Mexico allegedly involved two
Mexicans, a Canadian and a Danish suspect, all of whom have
been detained. He did not reveal which relatives had planned
to accompany al-Saadi Gaddafi, who is known for his love of
professional soccer and run-ins with police in Europe.

The plot was uncovered by Mexican intelligence agents in
early September, Poire said. The plotters allegedly jetted
into Mexico, opened bank accounts and bought properties meant
to be used as safe houses in several parts of the country.

Poire identified the leader of the plot as a Canadian
woman named Cynthia Vanier, who was detained on November 10.

He said she and three other suspects were being held on
suspicion of using false documents, human smuggling and
organized crime.

Kaufman dismissed the allegations as an effort to
discredit his client, who "vigorously denies that he
formulated or sponsored any criminal plot to obtain illegal
entry into Mexico."

Al-Saadi and other Gaddafi family members have been
placed under an asset freeze and travel ban by the UN Security
Council.

PTI



First Published: Friday, December 9, 2011 - 21:03

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