Tony Blair’s Labour Party MP’s Secret £100,000 Gift To LSE Student Saif Gaddafi
WILL Saif Gaddafi die before he can take the stand at the International Criminal Court? If he does, then perpetually terminally ill Abdelbaset Mohmed Ali al-Megrahi will have outlived the Libyan leaders who presided over the Lockerbie killer’s release from a Scottish prison.
While we wonder what Saif Gaddafi knows about the deaths of 270 people in the UK’s biggest ever mass murder – what will he reveal and why – the Sunday Times reports that Argus Scotland — where former Labour MP Adam Ingram was non-executive chairman – gave the Gadaffi International Charity and Development Foundation £100,000 “at about the same time as it was awarded a multi-million-pound contract in Libya”.
That contract was awarded to Argus by Libya’s Organisation for the Development of Administrative Centres. Argus would design 10 universities.
Ingram was the armed forces minister from 2001 to 2007. He was MP East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow. Yep, in Scotland, where al-Megrahi lived for a time.
The paper adds:
Ingram also worked as a consultant for Argus Libya and was paid more than £40,000 a year by the group… According to the report, the firm specialises “in seeking commercial opportunity in Libya, especially in the military sphere”.
The donation was discovered during a confidential investigation by the London School of Economics (LSE) two years ago, but has never been revealed because of the potential political embarrassment.
Also known as the truth getting out.
That’s the LSE, which received a nice fat £1.5m donation from Gaddafi. It’s the school where Saif studied and browsed the internet for material for his doctorate. The £100,000 made up part of that £1.5m gift. The Gadaffi International Charity and Development Foundation seems like a project to develop Gadaffis’ internationals profiles and CVs.
This Wednesday, Lord Woolf, the former lord chief justice, will show us his report on the LSE’s handling of the Gaddafi affair.
George Joffe, a Middle East expert, told Woolf that the implication was that the firms were “paying a bribe to Libya to get access to contracts”.
The Sunday Times adds:
Argus Scotland agreed to donate to the as it bid for contracts. The gift was solicited by Omran Bukhres, then an adviser to Gadaffi and executive director of Libya’s national economic strategy. Argus’s donation was not reported in its published accounts, but emerged as LSE officials investigated the source of the £1.5m Gadaffi donation in 2009, of which £300,000 was received.
The LSE reports mentions two other companies that provided donations for Gadaffi’s foundation. They were Impregilo, Italy’s largest construction firm, and Yasar Ozkan, a Turkish engineering and contracting firm.
It is believed to have donated the money to Gadaffi’s foundation in the summer of 2009. At the same time, it finalised a £300m deal that also involved building new universities.
Yasar Ozkan has been operating in Libya since 1979. According to the internal LSE report it had “dropped projects in Turkey to focus on larger projects in Libya”. It is not known if it was awarded any contracts subsequent to providing the donation…
Gaddafi hailed the Libyan Economic Development Board:
Speaking at the launch event, Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi said: “This is a momentous step and one which will increase opportunity and prosperity for the people of Libya. The Libyan Economic Development Board has an important role to play in driving an entrepreneurial culture in Libya and providing support to business. It is a signal of Libya’s commitment to the diversification and development of the economy necessary to position Libya as a major player in the regional economy. “
Dr. Omran Bukhres, Executive Director of the National Economic Strategy, said: “Today’s launch demonstrates that we are now moving on to the action and implementation phase of our National Economic Strategy. We want to encourage Libyans to play an active part in the reform agenda and our first major LEDB campaign will be to address the key barriers to entrepreneurship. The Libyan Economic Development Board will make it simpler to register new businesses as well as making it easier for Small Medium Enterprises to access finance and professional advice and training.”
Any links to Tony Blair’s regime?
One of the new peers Blair created, Baroness Liz Symons, served in his government for many years, where her posts included a spell as minister of defense procurement, and a later stint in the foreign office as the minister responsible for the Middle East and international security—a post that gave her deep involvement with Libya. Symons now has a paid position as an adviser to Libya’s National Economic Development Board. In July 2010, she convened a conference in London, the Libya IV Trade and Investment Forum, that was attended by numerous Libyan officials and U.K. businesspeople. Symons, who has declined to disclose how much the Libyans have paid her, has set up what supporters describe as a “virtual network” to provide mutual contacts and opportunities for British and Libyan firms.
Who now speaks for the 270?
As for Adam Ingram, the Telegraph reported in 2010:
Adam Ingram, the former Armed Forces minister, and Richard Caborn, the former trade minister, met a fake lobbying company to discuss work they could do after they stand down as MPs at the general election, it has emerged.
Mr Ingram, the MP for East Kilbride, is understood to have cited work he does for a defence firm in Libya as evidence of his experience in the field of business. He already makes up to £170,000 a year from consultancy work and non-executive directorships while also drawing his MP’s salary of £63,291.
Ingram said: “Having served as a Member of Parliament for over 23 years, no one should find it surprising that, having taken the decision to stand down at the next election, I was interested in exploring opportunities for future employment, which, no doubt, is why the decision was made to set me up.
“I have always been open and upfront about my outside interests since leaving Ministerial office in 2007. I have at all times complied with the rules and regulations of the House of Commons.”
Will Saif Gaddafi tell us what was said when he met with Sir Mark Allen, the head of counterterrorism at Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, MI6 back in 2004? Allen would soon work for BP, the big gainer in Tony Blair’s dealings with Gaddafi.
What will Saif Gaddafi reveal? Or should we just follow the money..?