TRIPOLI – Libya’s government says it is open to political reform but has dismissed the idea of Moammar Gadhafi ceding power, The Voice of America reports. Government Spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said Libya was open to political, electoral or constitutional changes, but adds that Gadhafi would lead the transition forward. The New York Times had earlier reported that at least two of the Libyan leader’s sons have proposed Gadhafi relinquish power for a transition to constitutional democracy under the direction of his son, Seif al-Islam Gadhafi. Seif had long been seen as a successor to Gadhafi before the current political unrest began. Rebel leaders have dismissed that idea.
On Monday, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Italy has decided to recognize the Libya’s rebel Transitional National Council as the only legitimate representative of the Libyan people. He said Italy plans to send an envoy to the eastern city of Benghazi – where the rebels’ government is based – within days. Italy follows France and Qatar in recognizing the rebel council. Both Italy and Qatar have stakes in Libya’s oil industry.
Rebels scoff at idea of Gadhafi’s son taking over
A source close to the country’s leadership said a Libyan envoy is floating the idea of ruler Moammar Gadhafi passing his power to a son – a notion rebel leaders deem merely cosmetic, CNN reports. Under the proposal, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, 38, would help to usher in swift reform, the source said. But Saif Gadhafi has become one of his father’s most outspoken defenders since the start of the unrest, despite once being perceived as a leading reformer in the Libyan government.
But a proposal to shift power from Gadhafi to his second-oldest son is “a ridiculous offer,” said Ali Aujali, a former Libyan ambassador to the United States who now represents the Libyan opposition in Washington.
RAF strikes with four extra Tornado Fighter jets
British PM David Cameron announced that four more Tornado fighter-bombers were being deployed to the Libyan mission, taking the total for the operation to 12, The Telegraph informs. It is understood the Tornados, from RAF Marham in Norfolk, will help fill gaps left by US forces, which are reducing their operations in Libya. William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, also told MPs that Britain would supply the rebels with equipment, including communications kit.
Moussa Koussa could face UK private criminal prosecution
Moussa Koussa could face criminal proceedings in a British court for his alleged involvement in IRA bombings within weeks, The Daily Telegraph disclosed.
The legal team representing nearly 160 British victims of IRA bomb attacks which used Libyan-supplied Semtex are considering bringing a private prosecution against the former Libyan foreign minister within weeks.
They are looking at both private criminal and civil proceedings against Mr Koussa, who defected to the UK last week and is being questioned by British officials.