R.I.P. BRUCE REYNOLDS …………….. IN MEMORY OF THE ADMIRAL

TRUE CRIME AND MUCH MUCH MORE ON DISPLAY HERE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION , LITTLEDEAN JAIL , FOREST OF DEAN , GLOUCESTERSHIRE,UK.

R.I.P. BRUCE REYNOLDS …………….. IN MEMORY OF THE ADMIRAL

Bruce Reynolds, mastermind behind the Great Train Robbery and inspiration for Michael Caine’s ‘Harry Palmer’, dies aged 81

  • Bruce Reynolds robbed £2.6million mail train with 16 accomplices
  • Jailed for 25 years for role and later wrote of experiences in memoir
  • Passed away peacefully in his sleep yesterday morning
  • The haul, which would be worth £40million today, was never fully recovered
  • Reynolds considered inspiration for Caine’s 1965 depiction of fictional spy Harry Palmer in film The Ipcress File

Bruce Reynolds, the crook regarded as the mastermind of the Great Train Robbery, died yesterday aged 81.

His death after a short illness came months before the 50th anniversary of the 1963 heist in which a gang escaped with a then record £2.6million – about £40million in today’s money.

A career criminal who enjoyed the high life and drove an Aston Martin, Reynolds was a notorious jewel thief and housebreaker who formed the 17-strong gang which held up the Royal Mail travelling post office in Buckinghamshire as it ran between Glasgow and London.

Mastermind: Bruce Reynolds, who organised the Great Train Robbery, has died aged 81
Ill health: Reynolds, pictured in 2007, was apparently ailing for some time before his death

Mastermind: Bruce Reynolds, who organised the Great Train Robbery, has died aged 81

Arrest: Reynolds being taken away by police in November 1968 after spending five years on the runArrest: Reynolds being taken away by police in November 1968 after spending five years on the run
Family: Reynolds, left, with his wife Frances as well as fellow robber John Daly and his wife BarbaraFamily: Reynolds, left, with his wife Frances as well as fellow robber John Daly and his wife Barbara
Reynolds was considered the inspiration for Michael Caine's 1965 depiction of fictional spy Harry Palmer (above) in the film The Ipcress FileReynolds was considered the inspiration for Michael Caine’s 1965 depiction of fictional spy Harry Palmer (above) in the film The Ipcress File

Nicknamed Napoleon, he bought his shoes at Lobb, his shirts from Jermyn Street and his suits in Savile Row  and was considered the inspiration for Michael Caine’s 1965 depiction of fictional spy Harry Palmer in the film The Ipcress File.

After the robbery, using a series of aliases and a false passport, Reynolds went on the run in Mexico and Canada for five years with his wife and young son before returning to Britain when the cash ran out.

Justice eventually caught up with him in Torquay in 1968.

When Tommy Butler, the Flying Squad detective who arrested him there, said: ‘Hello, Bruce, it’s been a long time’, Reynolds replied: ‘C’est la vie’. The last of the robbers to be caught, Reynolds was sentenced to 25 years in jail.

He was released on parole in 1978 and moved, penniless, into a tiny flat off London’s Edgware Road.

In the 1980s he was jailed for three years for dealing amphetamines.

Gang: Reynolds, centre, with his accomplices Buster Edwards, Tom Wisbey, Jim White, Roger Cordrey, Charles Wilson and Jim Hussey in 1979

Gang: Reynolds, centre, with his accomplices Buster Edwards, Tom Wisbey, Jim White, Roger Cordrey, Charles Wilson and Jim Hussey in 1979

His wife Frances, who had changed her name to Angela, died a couple of years ago, and he lived out his last years in Croydon, south London.

In his memoirs, written in 1995, he said the Great Train Robbery proved a curse which followed him around and no-one wanted to employ him, legally or illegally. ‘I became an old crook living on hand-outs from other old crooks,’ he said.

His musician son Nick Reynolds, whose group Alabama 3 produced The Sopranos theme tune Woke Up This Morning, yesterday announced the death of the Great Train Robber.

Heist: The train which was targeted by the robbers pictured soon after the crime

Heist: The train which was targeted by the robbers pictured soon after the crime

Record: The haul, worth over £40million in today's money, was the biggest robbery in British history

Record: The haul, worth over £40million in today’s money, was the biggest robbery in British history

‘He hadn’t been well for a few days and I was looking after him,’ he said. ‘I really can’t talk at the moment. I can confirm that he has passed away and he died in his sleep.’

The robbery went on to be the subject of several films and books, with a tawdry glamour attaching itself to the notorious crime – even though the train driver was violently attacked and all the robbers eventually caught.

No guns were used, but driver Jack Mills was coshed and left unconscious by an unidentified assailant, suffered constant headaches for the rest of his life and died in 1970 from leukaemia.

Scene: The bridge where the bandits held up the train and attacked its workers

Scene: The bridge where the bandits held up the train and attacked its workers

Carnage: Inside a carriage of the mail train in the aftermath of the robbery in 1963

Carnage: Inside a carriage of the mail train in the aftermath of the robbery in 1963

More than £2million of the gang’s haul was never recovered.

Seven of the gang, including its most infamous member Ronnie Biggs, were given 30-year sentences in 1964 after judge Edmund Davies called it ‘a crime which in its impudence and enormity is the first of its kind in this country’ and said he hoped the length of the sentences would ‘ensure that it is the last of its kind’.

Biggs lived as a fugitive in Brazil for 36 years after escaping from Wandsworth Prison before finally returning to Britain to face jail in 2001.

Aged 83, he was released on ‘compassionate grounds’ in 2009, has suffered a series of strokes and is now so frail he is unable to speak.

Cash: Detectives search through sacks of banknotes which were stolen in what was then a record robberyCash: Detectives search through sacks of banknotes which were stolen in what was then a record robbery

Investigation: A policeman picks up the train driver's hat from the railway tracks near the ambush siteInvestigation: A policeman picks up the train driver’s hat from the railway tracks near the ambush site

Father and son: Reynolds with his son Nick, an artist who is a member of the band Alabama ThreeFather and son: Reynolds with his son Nick, an artist who is a member of the band Alabama Three

Yesterday Biggs’s son Michael said: ‘Regardless of whatever mistakes Bruce made in his life, Bruce was a very, very kind person who was a true gentlemen who made many friends in his life. Bruce was my father’s closest friend, they met in borstal when they were 13.

Biggs’s son claimed: ‘He was very old school. He was absolutely against violence and deeply upset about what happened in the Great Train Robbery.

‘He believed that if you are going to be a criminal then be one but don’t go mugging old ladies. The attack on the driver was something that did upset everyone involved.’

Leonard ‘Nipper’ Read, the Scotland Yard detective who successfully pursued the robbers, said: ‘It really is the end of an era. It was certainly a well-organised operation and Reynolds was the pioneer.’

Biggs
Biggs

Notorious: Ronnie Biggs, pictured left at the time of the robbery and right in 2011, is the best-known of the gang after escaping from prison and spending decades on the run

Injuries: Jack Mills, driver of the train which the gang targeted, after being beaten by the robbersInjuries: Jack Mills, driver of the train which the gang targeted, after being beaten by the robbers

JACK SLIPPER
Gerald McArthur

Police: Jack Slipper, left, and Gerald McArthur, right, were two officers intimately involved with the investigation

Audacious thieves who shocked the nation: Where the Great Train Robbers ended up

By JAMES RUSH

Ronnie Biggs
Charles Wilson

Ronnie Biggs (left): The most famous of the train robbers, even though he played a minor role as a contact for the replacement train driver. He is best known for his escape from prison in 1965 and living as a fugitive for 36 years. He voluntarily returned to the UK in 2011 and spent several years in prison. During this time his health rapidly declined and on August 6, 2009, he was released from prison on compassionate grounds.

Charles Frederick (Charlie) Wilson (right): The treasurer whose role was to give the robbers their cut of the haul. He earned the nickname ‘the silent man’ after he was captured because he refused to say anything during his trial. Jailed for 30 years but escaped after four months. Was captured in Canada four years later and severed another ten years in jail. Moved to Spain in 1978 where he was shot and killed by a hitman on a bicycle in 1990.

Buster Edwards
Roy James

Ronald ‘Buster’ Edwards (left): Fled to Mexico after the robbery but gave himself up in 1966. After nine years in jail he became a familiar figure selling flowers outside London Waterloo. Killed himself in 1994 at the age of 62. He was played by singer Phil Collins in the 1988 film Buster.

Roy James (right): The chief getaway driver left a fingerprint at the gang’s farm hideout and was caught following a rooftop chase. He moved to Spain after serving 12 years of a 30 year sentence. He was jailed again for six years in 1993 for shooting his wife’s father and hitting her with a pistol, and died soon after being released, at the age of 62.

Tommy Wisbey
Jim Hussey

Tommy Wisbey (left): One of the ‘heavies’ of the gang, Wisbey was there to frighten the train staff. Was jailed for 30 years and released in 1976 before being jailed for another ten years in 1989 for dealing cocaine. After being released he lived in north London, where he suffered a number of strokes.

Jimmy Hussey (right): ‘Big Jim’ died last year after apparently making a deathbed confession claiming he was the gang member who coshed the train driver. He was sentenced to 30 years for the robbery. After he was released in 1975 he eventually opened a restaurant in Soho after working on a market stall. He was convicted for assault in 1981. He was then jailed for seven years, eight years later, for a drug smuggling conspiracy, along with Wisbey.

Roger Cordrey
Jimmy White

Roger Cordrey (left): Was jailed for 20 years after being arrested in Bournemouth. He was caught after renting a lock-up from a policeman’s widow. His sentence was reduced to 14 years on appeal. The florist returned to the flower business after he was released in 1971 and moved to the West Country.

Jimmy White (right): The ‘quartermaster’ for the robbery. The former Paratrooper was caught in Kent after being on the run for three years and was sentenced to 18 years, He moved to Sussex after being released in 1975.

Roy James
Family: Reynolds, left, with his wife Frances as well as fellow robber John Daly and his wife Barbara

Douglas Gordon Goody (left): Was released in 1975 after being sentenced to 30 years in jail. After being released the hairdresser moved to Spain to run a bar.

John Daly (right): Reynold’s brother-in-law was arrested after his fingerprints were discovered on a Monopoly set linked to the case, but was acquitted when he successfully argued this did not prove he was involved.

Bobby Welch: Was also jailed for 30 years and released in 1976. The nightclub boss was left crippled after an operation on his leg went wrong. After being released from jail he became a gambler and a car dealer in London.

Brian Field: The solicitor was used to make the arrangement to buy the farm hideout used after the robbery. Jailed for 25 years, which was later reduced to five. He later died in a motorway crash in 1979.

Bill Jennings: The criminal who was hired to decouple the carriage with the cash in it was never caught and brought to justice.

Four other people were believed to be involved in the heist, but have never been identified. They include ‘The Ulsterman’, a key figure whose real name is a complete mystery.

RONNIE BIGGS … THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY 1963 ….

RONNIE BIGGS POLICE MUGSHOT Ronald Biggs

Ronald Arthur “Ronnie” Biggs is an English criminal, known for his role in the Great Train Robbery of 1963, for his escape from prison in 1965, for living as a fugitive for 36 years and for his various publicity stunts while in exile

Mary Berry ( full name Mary-Rosa Alleyne Berry) at the Gloucester Quays, Food and drink festival 2013, Friday

16TH JULY 2013 – RONNIE BIGGS WITH ANDY JONES FROM THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTIONMary Berry ( full name Mary-Rosa Alleyne Berry) at the Gloucester Quays, Food and drink festival 2013, Friday Mary Berry ( full name Mary-Rosa Alleyne Berry) at the Gloucester Quays, Food and drink festival 2013, Friday Mary Berry ( full name Mary-Rosa Alleyne Berry) at the Gloucester Quays, Food and drink festival 2013, Friday Mary Berry ( full name Mary-Rosa Alleyne Berry) at the Gloucester Quays, Food and drink festival 2013, Friday Mary Berry ( full name Mary-Rosa Alleyne Berry) at the Gloucester Quays, Food and drink festival 2013, Friday

ABOVE ARE A  FEW PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN DURING A RECENT PRIVATE VISIT WITH RONNIE BIGGS AT HIS NURSING HOME RETREAT ( 16TH JULY 2013 ) . CERTAINLY ON FORM DURING THE VISIT AND ENJOYING THE GREAT BRITISH SUNSHINE !!

———————————————————————————————————

VARIOUS PICTORIAL SLIDESHOW, VIDEO FOOTAGE, PICTURES AND NEWSPAPER REPORTS COVERING THE PRESS CONFERENCE FOR RONNIE BIGGS’S NEW AUTOBIOGRAPHY BOOK LAUNCH “ODD MAN OUT: THE LAST STRAW” HELD AT THE SHOREDITCH HOUSE , LONDON ON THE 17TH NOVEMBER 2011 . THE EVENT WAS ATTENDED BY MANY PHOTOGRAPHERS AND JOURNALISTS EAGER TO ASK RONNIE LOTS OF QUESTIONS DESPITE HIS CLEAR DISABILITY IN BEING UNABLE TO VOICE HIS ANSWERS . RELIANT SOLEY ON HIS SON MIKE AND HIS SPELLBOARD

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

RONNIE BIGGS …THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBER USING HIS SPELLBOARD AT HIS BOOK LAUNCH … NOW ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL ALONG WITH VARIOUS OTHER GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY MEMORABILIA ITEMS .

THE SPELLBOARD USED BY RONNIE BIGGS AT HIS BOOK LAUNCH AND NOW ON DISPLAY AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL

RONNIE BIGGS WITH AJ BACKSTAGE AT HIS BOOK LAUNCH PRESS CALL .

ALSO PICTURED HERE WITH HIS SPELLBOARD USED BY HIM DURING THE DAY AND NOW ON DISPLAY AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL

RONNIE BIGGS SAT WITH AJ DURING PRESS CALL , PICTURED HERE LOOKING AT HIMSELF PICTURED WITHIN THE LITTLEDEAN JAIL TOURISM LEAFLET.

A J CHATTING TO LEGENDARY DJ (AND SON OF BLUES GUITARIST LEGEND JOHN MAYALL) GAZ  MAYALL  AKA GAZ’S ROCKIN BLUES

OUR … CRIME THROUGH TIME  @ LITTLEDEAN JAIL FACEBOOK ADMIN JULES SEEN HERE LOOKING AS IF HE’S JUST ABOUT TO CLOBBER RONNIE BIGGS AT THE BOOK LAUNCH …

  • Ronnie Biggs: I’ll be remembered as a loveable rogue

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 17 November 2011 20.29 GMT

Ronnie Biggs at a press conference in London to launch his book
Ronnie Biggs at a press conference in London to launch his book. Photograph: David Levene

Ronnie Biggs said he would be remembered as Britain’s “loveable rogue” as he made an appearance in public. The 82-year-old Great Train Robber said he was proud of his achievements, despite remorse for his crimes.

Unable to physically speak after several strokes, Biggs responded to questions at a press event to publicise his book, Odd Man Out: The Last Straw by pointing to a word and letter board. Asked how the country perceived him, he spelled out “loveable rogue”.

His son, Michael, speaking on his behalf at the east London event, said Biggs had no regrets about voluntarily returning from Brazil in 2001 to face justice for the 1963 robbery.

He had been working on the book since he was released from jail on compassionate grounds in 2009, the family said.

Biggs is unable to walk or talk. His son described how he developed a life-threatening chest infection every three or four weeks. “This is probably the first and last time he is holding a press conference.”

Launching his book, Biggs expressed sorrow over the fate of Jack Mills, the driver of the robbed mail train, who died in 1970 having never made a full recovery after being coshed. But when asked whether any proceeds from the book would go to Mills’s family, the ex-fugitive’s son said: “That has not been discussed yet.”

The book updates Biggs’s 1994 autobiography and has chapters covering his return to the UK, his time in prison, his release on compassionate grounds and his life since.

He Biggs first suffered a stroke in 1998 and has been admitted to hospital several times since returning to Britain.

Biggs was a member of a gang that made off with £2.6m from a Glasgow to London mail train. He was sentenced to 30 years, but escaped from Wandsworth prison, south London, in a furniture van 15 months later and spent more than 30 years on the run, living in Spain, Australia and Brazil. Biggs says in the book that he is a “very different man to the one who went on the run from HMP Wandsworth back in July 1965”. “Not only are there many, many more miles on the clock, but also there is the damage done to my body and soul by the strokes and other health problems that should have killed me already; and may have already done so by the time you get around to reading this,” he writes.

“I lay no claim to having been a perfect man who has led a faultless life, and never have, but I am a better man for the experiences of the past 50 years, a period in which I spent over three-quarters of my life trying to honestly maintain my family and myself as best I could.

“It has been said by those who don’t know me – and who have never met me – that I have no regrets, but that simply isn’t true. I have always regretted the hurt I caused by my actions, and especially to my own family and friends.”

BELOW SHOWS PICTURE FROM PORTUGESE NEWSPAPER WHICH ALSO SHOWS  OUR JULES (ADMIN) IN ACTION …..THE LARGER THAN LIFE (OR THE OTHER SNAPPERS) CHARACTER SEEN HERE ON THE FRONT ROW

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF LIBYAN TYRANT – COLONEL MUAMMAR GADDAFI …HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL

MANY SAY “WHAT GOES ROUND COMES AROUND ” AND LET US NOT FORGET GADDAFI’S APPARENT INVOLVEMENT IN THE DEATH OF BRITISH WPC YVONNE FLETCHER .

AN HISTORIC MOMENT IN WORLD HISTORY – THE BARBARIC DEATH OF A BARBARIC DICTATOR !!

HERE’S AN IMAGE OF AN INSCRIBED AND  SIGNED PHOTOGRAPH OF GADDAFI FROM 1987 SENT FROM HIS LIBYAN OFFICE TO THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION AND NOW HERE ON DISPLAY ALONG WITH A MONTAGE COVERING HIS  LIFE AND GRUESOME DEATH  BY HIS OWN PEOPLE ON THE 20TH OCTOBER 2011.

Gaddafi dead: ‘Colonel Gaddafi captured but died of injuries’, Libya transitional council official claims

Colonel Gaddafi (Pic: AFP /Philippe Desmazes)

FUGITIVE Colonel Muhammar Gaddafi was killed today during a final rebel attack on his birthplace.

>

The toppled Libyan leader was badly wounded in both legs and shot in the head as rebels backed by NATO attacked a convoy fleeing the coastal town of Sirte, it was claimed.

Libya Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril later announced to the world Gaddafi had died.

He said: “We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Muammar Gaddafi has been killed.”

Gaddafi was executed in cold blood in a drainage ditch desperately begging for his life, it emerged this afternoon.

The toppled despot is thought to have fled his car after his speeding convoy fleeing his Sirte stronghold was attacked in a NATO airstrike at 6am UK time.

Two fighter jets attacked the vehicles as they fled the Sirte assault, although neither of the planes that struck the convoy was flown by the RAF.

Another two-plane formation of British Tornado ground attack aircraft were on surveillance and reconnaissance missions over Libya at the time.

As the NATO strike on Gaddafi’s convoy hit the lead vehicles his aides started trying to exit from cars and escape on foot, realising the game was up.

Then as Gaddafi and several aides tried to run into the safety of a drainage ditch they were shot dead by rebel fighters pursuing them on foot.

Libyan National Transitional Council official Abdel Majid Mlegta said this morning Gaddafi was captured and wounded in both legs at dawn today as he tried to flee in a convoy which NATO warplanes attacked.

“He was also hit in his head.” the official said. “There was a lot of firing against his group and he died.”

A mobile phone picture was later released by AFP which apparently showed the Libya leader’s arrest.

Information Minister Mahmoud Shammam says he has confirmed that Gaddafi is dead after talking to fighters who said they saw the body.

He says he expects the prime minister to confirm the death soon, noting that past reports emerged “before making 100% confirmation’.

NTC vice-chairman Abdul Hafiz Ghoga told a news conference later: “We announce to the world that Muammar Gaddafi  has been killed at the hands of the revolutionaries.

“We will announce the liberation of Libya within hours, maybe sooner.”

An image reported to be Colonel Gaddafi (Pic: Reuters)

An image reported to be of Colonel Gaddafi

Colonel Gaddafi (Pic: Reuters)

Colonel Gaddafi’s reign has ended

Fighters celebrate the fall of Sirte

A man holds up Colonel Gaddafi golden gun (Pic: Getty Images)

A man holds up what is thought to be Gaddafi’s golden gun

A large concrete pipe where Colonel Gaddafi was allegedly captured (Pic: Getty Images)

A large concrete pipe where Gaddafi is thought to have been hiding

A large concrete pipe where Colonel Gaddafi was allegedly captured (Pic: Getty Images)

The area where Gaddafi was captured

Television broadcasts showed footage of NTC troops celebrating the fall of Sirte and the apparent capture of Gaddafi, who was wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

There were fierce gun battles on the streets of the coastal city in the morning, bringing an end to a siege which has lasted almost two months since the fall of capital Tripoli to rebel troops in August.

“Our forces control the last neighbourhood in Sirte,” NTC member Hassan Draoua said.  “The city has been liberated.”

Shortly afterwards senior National Transitional Council commanders claimed Gaddafi had died from wounds sustained in the final assault.

NATO said it was checking reports of the capture of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya and said they could take some time to confirm.

‘’We are checking and assessing the situation.’’ a NATO official said. ‘’Clearly these are very significant developments, which will take time to confirm. “

Gaddafi has been rumoured to be hiding in Sirte for many weeks, although it was also believed he may be in his desert stronghold of Bani Walid, to the south.

A Libyan transitional forces commander said Moussa Ibrahim, former spokesman for Muammar Gaddafi’s fallen government, was captured near the city of Sirte this afternoon.

Abdul Hakim Al Jalil, commander of the 11th brigade, also said he had seen the body of the chief of Gaddafi’s armed forces, Abu Bakr Younus Jabr.

“I’ve seen him with my own eyes.” he said and displayed a picture of Jabr’s body.

“Moussa Ibrahim was also captured and both of them were transferred to our operations room.”

Libya’s son Mo’tassim was reported to have been captured alive.

Colonel Roland Lavoie, spokesman for Nato’s operational headquarters in Naples, said its aircraft today struck two vehicles of pro-Gaddafi forces “which were part of a larger group manoeuvring in the vicinity of Sirte”.

The Ministry of Defence in London confirmed that Nato warplanes today attacked a convoy of vehicles fleeing Sirte.

It is not known whether Gaddafi was in any of vehicles.

“It was targeted on the basis that this was the last of the pro-Gaddafi forces fleeing Sirte,” a spokesman said.

RAF fighters were not involved in the attack, although RAF reconnaissance aircraft were in the area.

The ecstatic former rebels celebrated the fall of Sirte after weeks of bloody siege by firing endless rounds into the sky, pumping their guns, knives and even a meat cleaver in the air and singing the national anthem.

In the central quarter where the final battle took place, the fighters looking like the same ragtag force that started the uprising eight months ago, jumped up and down with joy and flashed V-for-victory signs.

Some burned the green Gaddafi flag, then stepped on it with their boots.

They chanted “Allah akbar” or “God is great”, while one fighter climbed a traffic light pole to unfurl the revolution’s flag, which he first kissed.

Discarded military uniforms of Gaddafi’s fighters littered the streets. One revolutionary fighter waved a silver trophy in the air while another held up a box of firecrackers, then set them off.

A Libyan fighter claimed Gaddafi was hiding in a hole in his hometown of Sirte shouting: “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot.”

In a statement on NTC-controlled state television, a presenter draped in the flag of liberated Libya said: “Gaddafi is in the hands of the rebels. Gaddafi personally is in the hands of the rebels.

“We have captured Gaddafi. Libya is joyous, Libya is celebrating, Libya has given a lesson to all those who want to learn.

“I salute you, rebels. I salute you, revolutionaries. You have captured this criminal who has killed the mothers of the martyrs.”

Libyan fighters had earlier overrun the last positions of Gaddafi loyalists holding out in his hometown Sirte.

Map showing Sirte, Libya

Sirte has been taken by the National Transitional Council

Colonel Gaddafi (Pic: Reuters)

Colonel Gaddafi pictured in March

Revolutionary fighters celebrate the capture of Sirte (Pic: AP)

Revolutionary fighters celebrate the capture of Sirte

An anti-Gaddafi fighter prepares ammunition in the center of Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

An anti-Gaddafi fighter prepares ammunition in the centre of Sirte

Image of deposed Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi sits next to a copy of the magazine The Economist in the study room in a house belonging to one of Gaddafi's family members (Pic: Reuters)

An image of Gaddafi next to a copy of the Economist among belongings in a Sirte house

Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrated the fall of Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrate

Anti-Gaddafi fighters hug as they celebrate the fall of Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

Anti-Gaddafi fighters hug after the capture of Sirte

Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrate the fall of Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

Fighters are jubilant

The final push to capture the remaining pro-Gaddafi positions began around 8 am and was over after about 90 minutes.

Just before the assault, about five carloads of loyalists tried to flee the enclave down the coastal highway but were killed by revolutionaries.

Revolutionaries began searching homes and buildings looking for any Gaddafi fighters who may be hiding there.

“Our forces control the last neighbourhood in Sirte,” said Hassan Draoua, a member of Libya’s interim National Transitional Council.

“The city has been liberated.”

After the battle, revolutionaries began searching homes and buildings looking for any Gaddafi fighters who may be hiding there. At least 16 pro-Gaddafi fighters were captured, with multiple cases of ammunition and trucks loaded with weapons.

Reporters saw revolutionaries beating captured Gaddafi men in the back of trucks and officers intervening to stop them.

Celebratory gunfire echoed through Sirte, which fell into the hands of revolutionaries almost two full months after they overrun Tripoli and many other parts of the country.

An anti-Gaddafi fighter takes a break during clashes with pro-Gaddafi forces in Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

An anti-Gaddafi fighter takes a break during clashes with pro-Gaddafi forces in Sirte

Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrate the fall of Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrate the fall of Sirte

Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrate the fall of Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

A fighter shoots into the air in celebration

Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrate the fall of Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

A group of fighters celebrate

Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrate the fall of Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrate in the back of a pick-up

Despite the fall of Tripoli on August 21, Gaddafi loyalists mounted fierce resistance in several areas, including Sirte, preventing Libya’s new leaders from declaring full victory in the eight-month civil war.

Earlier this week, revolutionary fighters gained control of one stronghold, Bani Walid, and by Tuesday said they had squeezed Gaddafi ‘s forces in Sirte into a residential area of about 700 square metres but were still coming under heavy fire from surrounding buildings.

Deputy defence minister Fawzi Abu Katif said on Wednesday that authorities still believe Gaddafi’s son Muatassim is among the ex-regime figures holed up in the diminishing area in Sirte. He was not seen on the ground after the final battle today.

In an illustration of how difficult and slow the fighting for Sirte was, it took the anti-Gaddafi fighters two days to capture a single residential building.

It is unclear whether Gaddafi loyalists who have escaped might continue the fight and attempt to organise an insurgency using the vast amount of weapons Gaddafi was believed to have stored in hideouts in the remote southern desert.

Unlike Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi had no well-organised political party that could form the basis of an insurgent leadership. However, regional and ethnic differences have already appeared among the ranks of the revolutionaries, possibly laying the foundation for civil strife.

Gaddafi issued several audio recordings trying to rally supporters. Libyan officials have previously said they believe he is hiding somewhere in the vast south-western desert near the borders with Niger and Algeria.

Libyans celebrate at Martyrs square in Tripoli after hearing the news that Libyan leader Gaddafi was killed in Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

Libyans celebrate at Martyrs square in Tripoli

Libyans celebrate at Martyrs square in Tripoli after hearing the news that Libyan leader Gaddafi was killed in Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

Celebrations in Martyrs Square

Libyans celebrate at Martyrs square in Tripoli after hearing the news that Libyan leader Gaddafi was killed in Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

Libyans welcome the news

Libyans celebrate at Martyrs square in Tripoli after hearing the news that Libyan leader Gaddafi was killed in Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

Martyrs Square is packed

Libyans celebrate at Martyrs square in Tripoli after hearing the news that Libyan leader Gaddafi was killed in Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/10/20/gaddafi-dead-colonel-gaddafi-captured-but-died-of-injuries-libya-transitional-council-official-claims-115875-23502371/#ixzz1bsu0B2jt

Muammar Gaddafi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Gaddafi” redirects here. For other people named Gaddafi, see Gaddafi (name).
Page semi-protected
Muammar Gaddafi
مُعَمَّر القَذَّافِي
Gaddafi at an African Union summit (2009)
Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution of Libya
In office
2 March 1977 – 23 August 2011
President
Prime Minister
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Position abolished
Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council of Libya
In office
1 September 1969 – 2 March 1977
Prime Minister Mahmud Sulayman al-Maghribi
Abdessalam Jalloud
Abdul Ati al-Obeidi
Preceded by Idris (King)
Succeeded by Himself (Secretary General of the General People’s Congress)
Secretary General of the General People’s Congress of Libya
In office
2 March 1977 – 2 March 1979
Prime Minister Abdul Ati al-Obeidi
Preceded by Himself (Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council)
Succeeded by Abdul Ati al-Obeidi
Prime Minister of Libya
In office
16 January 1970 – 16 July 1972
Preceded by Mahmud Sulayman al-Maghribi
Succeeded by Abdessalam Jalloud
Chairperson of the African Union
In office
2 February 2009 – 31 January 2010
Preceded by Jakaya Kikwete
Succeeded by Bingu wa Mutharika
Personal details
Born June 1942[nb 1]
SirteItalian Libya
(now Libya)
Died 20 October 2011 (aged 69)
Sirte or between Sirte andMisrata, Libya
Political party Arab Socialist Union (1971–1977)
Spouse(s) Fatiha al-Nuri (1969–1970)
Safia el-Brasai (1971–2011)
Children
Alma mater Benghazi Military University Academy
Religion Islam
Signature
Military service
Allegiance Libya Kingdom of Libya (1961–1969)
Libya Libyan Arab Republic(1969–1977)
Libya Libyan Arab Jamahiriya(1977–2011)
Service/branch Libyan Army
Years of service 1961–2011
Rank Colonel
Commands Libyan Armed Forces
Battles/wars Libyan-Egyptian War
Chadian-Libyan conflict
Uganda-Tanzania War
2011 Libyan civil war
Awards Order of the Yugoslav Star
Order of Good Hope

Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi[1] (Arabic: مُعَمَّر القَذَّافِي‎ Muʿammar al-Qaḏḏāfī About this sound audio (help·info);[variations] (June 1942[nb 1] – 20 October 2011), commonly known as Muammar Gaddafi play /ˈm.əmɑr ɡəˈdɑːfi/ or Colonel Gaddafi, was Libya’s head of state from 1969, when he seized power in a bloodless military coup, until 1977, when he stepped down from his official executive role as Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council of Libya, and claimed subsequently to be merely a symbolic figurehead.[2][3][4][5] Critics have often described him as Libya‘s de facto autocrat,[6][7] a claim his Libyan regime officially denied.[2][3] In 2011, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya regime he established was overthrown in a civil war which consisted of an uprising aided by a NATO intervention. His 42-year leadership prior to the uprising made him the fourth longest-serving non-royal leader since 1900, as well as the longest-serving Arab leader.[8] He variously styled himself as “the Brother Leader” and “Guide of the Revolution”; in 2008 a meeting of traditional African rulers bestowed on him the title “King of Kings”.[9]

After seizing power in 1969, he abolished the Libyan Constitution of 1951. He established laws based on the political ideology[10] he had formulated, called the Third International Theory and published in The Green Book.[11][12] After establishing the jamahiriya (“state of the masses”) system in 1977, he officially stepped down from power and had since then held a largely symbolic role within the country’s offical governance structure.[2][3][4][5] Rising oil prices and extraction in Libya led to increasing revenues. By exporting as much oil per capita as Saudi Arabia and through various welfare programs, Libya achieved the highest living standards in Africa; though not as high as several similarly oil-rich Gulf countries,[13][14] Libya remained debt-free under his regime.[15]Gaddafi started several wars and acquired chemical weapons.[16] The United Nations called Libya under Gaddafi a pariah state.[17][18] In the 1980s, countries around the world imposed sanctions against Gaddafi.[19] Six days after the capture of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003 by United States troops,[20] Gaddafi renounced Tripoli’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs and welcomed international inspections to verify that he would follow through on the commitment.[21] A leading advocate for a United States of Africa, he served as Chairperson of the African Union (AU) from 2 February 2009 to 31 January 2010.

In February 2011, following revolutions in neighbouring Egypt and Tunisia, protests against Gaddafi’s rule began. These escalated into an uprising that spread across the country, with the forces opposing Gaddafi establishing a government based in Benghazi named the National Transitional Council (NTC). This led to the 2011 Libyan Civil War, which included a military intervention by a NATO-led coalition to enforce a UN Security Council Resolution 1973calling for a no-fly zone and protection of civilians in Libya. The assets of Gaddafi and his family were frozen, and both Interpol and the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants on 27 June for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Senussi, concerning crimes against humanity.[1][22][23][24] Gaddafi and his forces lost the Battle of Tripoli in August, and on 16 September 2011 the NTC took Libya’s seat at the UN, replacing Gaddafi.[25] He retained control over parts of Libya, most notably the city of Sirte, to which it was presumed that he had fled.[26] Although Gaddafi’s forces initially held out against the NTC’s advances, Gaddafi was captured alive as Sirte fell to the rebel forces on 20 October 2011 and died the same day under unclear circumstances.[27][28][29]

Early life and military academy

Muammar Gaddafi was born in Qasr Abu Hadi, a large, rural farming area located just outside Sirte.[30] He was raised in a Bedouin tent in the desert near Sirte. According to many biographies, his family belongs to a small tribe of Arabs, the Qadhadhfa. They are mostly herders that live in the Hun Oasis. According to Gaddafi, his paternal grandfather, Abdessalam Bouminyar, fought against the Italian occupation of Libya and died as the “first martyr in Khoms, in the first battle of 1911”.[31] Gaddafi attended a Muslim elementary school far from home in Sabha, during which time he was profoundly influenced by major events in the Arab world. He was passionate about the success of the Palestinians and was deeply disappointed by their defeat by Israeli forces in 1948.[citation needed] He admired Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and looked to him as a hero during his rise to power in 1952. In 1956 Gaddafi took part in anti-Israeli protests during the Suez Crisis.[32] In Sabha he was briefly a member of Scouting.[33] He finished his secondary school studies under a private tutor in Misrata, concentrating on the study of history.

Gaddafi entered the Royal Libyan Military Academy at Benghazi in 1961, and graduated in 1966. Both towards the end of his course and after graduation, Gaddafi pursued further studies in Europe. False rumours have been propagated with regards to this part of his life, for example, that he attended the United Kingdom’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.[34] He did in fact receive four months’ further military training in the United Kingdom, and spent some time in London.[35][36] After this, as a commissioned officer he joined the Signal Corps.[37] Although often referred to as “Colonel Gaddafi”, he was in fact only a Lieutenant when he seized power in 1969.[38] He was, nonetheless, a holder of the honorary rank of Major General, conferred upon him in 1976 by his ownArab Socialist Union‘s National Congress. Gaddafi accepted the honorary rank, but stated that he would continue to be known as “Colonel” and to wear the rank insignia of a Colonel when in uniform.[39]

Libyan revolution of 1969

In Libya, as in a number of other Arab countries, admission to a military academy and a career as an army officer only became available to members of the lower economic strata after independence. A military career offered an opportunity for higher education, for upward economic and social mobility, and was for many the only available means of political action. For Gaddafi and many of his fellow officers, who were inspired by Nasser’s brand of Arab nationalism, a military career was a revolutionary vocation.

As a cadet, Gaddafi associated with the Free Officers Movement. Most of his future colleagues on the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) were fellow members of his graduating class at the military academy. The frustration and shame felt by Libyan officers by Israel’s massive defeat of the Arab armies on three fronts in 1967 fuelled their determination to contribute to Arab unity by overthrowing the Libyan monarchy. An early conspirator, Gaddafi first started planning the overthrow of the monarchy while a cadet.

On 1 September 1969 a small group of junior military officers led by Gaddafi staged a bloodless coup d’état against King Idris of Libya while the king was inTurkey for medical treatment. Idris’s nephew, Crown Prince Sayyid Hasan ar-Rida al-Mahdi as-Sanussi, was formally deposed by the revolutionary army officers and put under house arrest; they abolished the monarchy and proclaimed the Libyan Arab Republic.[40]

Internal affairs

Gaddafi (left) with Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1969

On gaining power he immediately ordered the shutdown of American and British military bases, including Wheelus Air Base. He told Western officials that he would expel their companies from Libya’s oil fields unless they shared more revenue. In his warning, he alluded to consultation with Nasser. The oil companies complied with the demand, increasing Libya’s share from 50 to 79 percent.[41] In December 1969, Egyptian intelligence thwarted a planned coup against Gaddafi from high-ranking members of his leadership. Many of the dissenters had grown uneasy with his growing relationship to Egypt.[42] In response to the failed coup, Gaddafi criminalized all political dissent and shared power only with his family and closest associates.[citation needed]

Gaddafi expelled Italian settlers in Libya in 1970.[43] Despising the Christian calendar, he replaced it as the country’s official with an Islamic calendar.[44] He renamed the months of the calendar. August, named for Augustus Caesar, was renamed Hannibal, and July, after Julius Caesar, was renamed Nasser, for Gamal Abdel Nasser. From 1971 to 1977, Gaddafi approved the Arab Socialist Union, modeled on Egypt’s Arab Socialist Union (Egypt), to function as a political party in Libya.[45]

Gaddafi increasingly devoted himself to “contemplative exile” over the next months,[10] caught up in apocalyptic visions of revolutionary pan-Arabism and Islam locked in a mortal struggle with what he termed the encircling, demonic forces of reaction, imperialism, and Zionism. As a result, routine administrative tasks fell to Major Jallud who became prime minister in place of Gaddafi in 1972. Two years later Jallud assumed Gaddafi’s remaining administrative and protocol duties to allow Gaddafi to devote his time to revolutionary theorizing. Gaddafi remained the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and the effective head of state. The foreign press speculated about an eclipse of his authority within the RCC, but Gaddafi soon dispelled such theories by imposing measures to restructure Libyan society.

Elimination of dissent

In 1969, Gaddafi created Revolutionary committees to keep tight control over internal dissent. Ten to twenty percent of Libyans worked as informants for these committees. Surveillance took place in the government, in factories, and in the education sector.[46] People who formed a political party were executed, and talking about politics with foreigners was punishable by up to 3 years in jail.[citation needed] Arbitrary arrests were common and Libyans were hesitant to speak with foreigners.[47] The government conducted executions and mutilations of political opponents in public and broadcast recordings of the proceedings on state television. Dissent was illegal under Law 75 of 1973, which denied freedom of expression.[46][48] In 2010, Libya’s press was rated as 160th out of 178 nations in the Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders.[49]

During the 1970s, Libya executed members of the Islamist fundamentalist Hizb-ut Tahrir faction, and Gaddafi often personally presided over the executions.[50][51] Libya faced internal opposition during the 1980s because of the highly unpopular war with Chad. Numerous young men cut off a fingertip to avoid conscription at the time.[52] A mutiny by the Libyan Army in Tobruk was violently suppressed in August 1980.[53]

From time to time Gaddafi responded to external opposition with violence. Between 1980 and 1987, Gaddafi employed his network of diplomats and recruits to assassinate at least 25 critics living abroad.[46][54] His revolutionary committees called for the assassination of Libyan dissidents living abroad in April 1980, sending Libyan hit squads abroad to murder them. On 26 April 1980 Gaddafi set a deadline of 11 June 1980 for dissidents to return home or be “in the hands of the revolutionary committees”.[55] Gaddafi stated explicitly in 1982 that “It is the Libyan people’s responsibility to liquidate such scums who are distorting Libya’s image abroad.”[56] Libyan agents have assassinated dissidents in the United States,[57] Europe,[58] and the Middle East.[46][56][59] As of 2004 Libya still provided bounties on critics, including $1 million for one journalist.[60] During the 2005 civil unrest in France, Gaddafi called Chirac and offered him his help in quelling the resistors, who were largely North African.[61] There are growing indications that Libya’s Gaddafi-era intelligence service had a cozy relationship with western spy organizations including the CIA, who voluntarily provided information on Libyan dissidents to the regime in exchange for using Libya as a base for extraordinary renditions.[62][63][64]

Following an abortive 1986 attempt to replace English with Russian as the primary foreign language in education,[65] English has been taught in recent years in Libyan schools from primary level, and students have access to English-language media.[66]

Campaign against Berber culture

Gaddafi often expressed an overt contempt for the Berbers, a non-Arab people of North Africa, and for their language, maintaining that the very existence of Berbers in North Africa is a myth created by colonialists. He adopted new names for Berber towns, and on official Libyan maps, referred to the Nafusa Mountains as the “Western mountains”.[67] In a 1985 speech, he said of the Berber language, “If your mother transmits you this language, she nourishes you with the milk of the colonialist, she feeds you their poison” (1985).[68] The Berber language was banned from schools and up until 2009, it was illegal for parents to name their children with Berber names.[69] Berbers living in ancient mud-brick caravan towns such as Ghadames were forced out and moved into modern government-constructed apartments in the 1980s.[10] During the 2011 civil war, Berber towns rebelled against Gaddafi’s rule and sought to reaffirm their ancient identity as Berbers.[70][71][72] Gaddafi’s government strengthened anti-Berber sentiment among Libyan Arabs, weakening their opposition.[73]

Economy

Libya enjoys large natural resources,[74] which Gaddafi utilized to help develop the country. Under Gaddafi’s jamahiriya direct democracy system,[75] the country’s literacy rate rose from 10% to 90%, life expectancy rose from 57 to 77 years, equal rights were established for women and black peopleemployment opportunities were established for migrant workers, and welfare systems were introduced that allowed access to free education, free healthcare, and financial assistance for housing. The Great Manmade River was also built to allow free access to fresh water across large parts of the country.[76] In addition, financial support was provided for university scholarships and employment programs.[77] The country was developed without taking any foreign loans. As a result, Libya wasdebt-free under Gaddafi’s regime.[15]

Despite his role in developing the country,[76][15] critics have accused Gaddafi of concentrating a large part of the country’s high gross domestic product on his family and his elites, who allegedly amassed vast fortunes.[74] Many of the business enterprises were allegedly controlled by Gaddafi and his family.[78] Despite the regime providing financial assistance for housing,[76] segments of the population continued to live in poverty, particularly in the eastern parts of the country.[79][80]

When the rising international oil prices began to raise Gaddafi’s revenues in the 1970s, Gaddafi spent much of the revenues on arms purchases and on sponsoring his political projects abroad.[81]Gaddafi’s relatives adopted lavish lifestyles, including luxurious homes, Hollywood film investments and private parties with American pop stars.[82][83]

The Economy of Libya was centrally planned and followed Gaddafi’s socialist ideals. It benefited greatly from revenues from the petroleum sector, which contributed most export earnings and 30% of its GDP. These oil revenues, combined with a small population and by far Africa’s highest Education Index gave Libya the highest nominal GDP per capita in Africa. Between 2000 and 2011, Libya recorded favourable growth rates with an estimated 10.6 percent growth of GDP in 2010, the highest of any state in Africa. Gaddafi had promised “a home for all Libyans” and during his rule, new residential areas rose in empty Saharan regions. Entire populations living in mud-brick caravan towns were moved into modern homes with running water, electricity, and satellite TV.[10] A leaked diplomatic cable describes Libyan economy as “a kleptocracy in which the government – either the al-Gaddafi family itself or its close political allies – has a direct stake in anything worth buying, selling or owning”.[24]

At the time Gaddafi died, some of the worst economic conditions were in the eastern parts of the state.[79][80] The sewage facilities in Banghazi were over 40 years old, and untreated sewage flowed into ground and coast.[14] 97% of urban dwellers have access to “improved sanitation facilities” in Libya, this was 2% points lower than the OECD average, or 21% points above the world average.[84] In the first 15 years of Gaddafi rule, the number of doctors per 1000/citizens increased by seven times, with the number of hospital beds increasing by three times.[85] During Gaddafi’s rule, infant mortality rates went from 125 per 1000 live births, about average for Africa at the time, to 15 per 1000, the best rate in Africa.[86] Libyans who could afford it often had to seek medical care in neighboring countries such as Tunisia and Egypt because of lack of decent medical care in Libya.[80][87]

Libyans have described the Great Manmade River, built under Gaddafi’s regime, as the “Eighth Wonder of the World“.[88] Gaddafi also initiated the Libyan National Telescope Project, costing about 10 million euros.[89]

On 4 March 2008 Gaddafi announced his intention to dissolve the country’s existing administrative structure and disburse oil revenue directly to the people. The plan included abolishing all ministries; except those of defence, internal security, and foreign affairs, and departments implementing strategic projects.[90] In 2009, Gaddafi personally told government officials that Libya would soon experience a “new political period” and would have elections for important positions such as minister-level roles and the National Security Advisor position (a Prime Minister equivalent). He also promised to include international monitors to ensure fair elections. His speech was said to have caused quite a stir.[91]

Purification laws

Libya’s society became increasingly Islamic during Gaddafi’s rule. His “purification laws” were put into effect in 1994, punishing theft by the amputation of limbs, and fornication and adultery by flogging.[92] Under the Libyan constitution, homosexual relations are punishable by up to 5 years in jail.[93]

Foreign affairs

Activities in Sudan and Chad

Gaddafi, Algerian President Houari Boumediene, and Syrian President Assadattending the Summit in Libya in December 1977.

After Nasser’s death, Gaddafi attempted to become the leader of Arab nationalism. He wanted to create a “Great Islamic State of the Sahel”, unifying the Arab states of North Africa into one. As early as 1969, Gaddafi contributed to the Islamization of Sudan and Chad, granting military bases and support to theFROLINAT revolutionary forces.[94] In 1971, when Muslims took power in Sudan, he offered to merge Libya with Sudan.[95] Gaafar Nimeiry, the President of Sudan, turned him down and angered Gaddafi by signing a peace settlement with the Sudanese Christians.[96] Gaddafi took matters into his own hands in 1972, organizing the Islamic Legion, a paramilitary group, to arabize the region.[97] He dispatched The Islamic Legion to Lebanon, Syria, Uganda, and Palestine to take active measures to ensure Islamic control. The Islamic Legion was highly active in Sudan and Chad, and nearly removed the Touboupopulation of southern Libya through violence.[98] Through the 1970s and 1980s, Gaddafi led an armed conflict against Chad, and occupied the Aouzou strip. During the 1970s, two Muslim leaders, Goukouni Oueddei and Habre, were fighting against the Christian southerners for control of Chad. Gaddafi supported them, and when they seized control in 1979, he offered to merge with Chad. Goukouni turned him down, and Gaddafi withdrew Libyan troops in 1981 because of growing opposition from France and neighboring African nations. Gaddafi’s withdrawal left Goukouni vulnerable in Chad, and in 1982, his former partner, Habre, led a coup to remove him from Chad. Gaddafi helped Goukouni regain territory in Chad, and fought with Habre’s forces.[99] As a side note, Gaddafi’s occupation of Chad led to the liberation of French archeologist Françoise Claustre in 1977.[100] In 1987, Gaddafi engaged in a full-out war with Chad, suffering a humiliating loss in 1987 during the Toyota War. Libya took heavy casualties, losing one tenth of its army (7,500 troops) and 1.5 billion dollars worth of military equipment.[101] Chad lost 1,000 troops, and was supported by both the United States and France.[102] During the war, Gaddafi lost his long-time ally, Goukouni Oueddei, who repaired his relationship with Habre in 1987. Gaddafi gave Habre an offer to make complete peace, and promised to return all Chadian prisoners in Libya. He also promised to pay reparations for the damage done to Chad, and promised financial support to fight poverty. He also announced that he would push to end the death penalty in Libya, end “revolutionary” courts, free hundreds of political prisoners, and warmed relations with African leaders concerned about his “Green revolution.”[103] Former Libyan soldiers and rebel groups supported by Libya continued to fight the Chadian government independent of Gaddafi. Their organization, the Arab Gathering, was an Arab supremacist group that also contributing to violence in Sudan. Members of this group later developed into leaders of the Janjaweed.[104]

War against Egypt

Main article: Libyan–Egyptian War

The disappointment and failure Nasser faced for his lost Six-Day War motivated Gaddafi to better coordinate Arab attacks on Israel.[105] Beginning in 1972, Gaddafi granted financial support and military training to Palestinian militant groups against Israel.[106][107][108] He also strengthened his unity with Egypt, and in 1972, convinced Anwar Sadat to share the same flag and join a partial union with Libya. Gaddafi had offered a fully unified state where Sadat would be president and he would be defense minister. Sadat distrusted Gaddafi and refused. Gaddafi was further disappointed with Egypt’s political system, as he spoke to Egypt’s Arab Socialist Union and was suggested “a partial merger, in order to allow time for thorough and careful study”. Gaddafi quipped back, saying “There’s no such thing as a partial merger”.[109] In 1973, Gaddafi secretly sent Libyan military planes to join the Egyptian Air Force. The outbreak of the Yom Kippur War surprised Gaddafi, as Egypt and Syria planned it without his knowledge.[110] Gaddafi felt that the war wasted resources and manpower to chase limited objectives, and accused Sadat of trying to weaken the FAR by launching the War. According to Gaddafi, Assad and Sadat were foolish to fight for small areas of Israeli-occupied territory when the entire land could be returned to the Palestinians outright. He said, “I will participate only in a war if the aim is to oust the usurpers and send the Jews back to Europe from where they have come since 1948 to colonize an Arab land.”[111] Gaddafi’s relationship with Egypt further weakened because he opposed a cease-fire with Israel and called Sadat a coward for giving up after one Israeli counteroffensive. Gaddafi also believed that the Soviet Union and the United States would join forces with Israel, and would deploy troops on the demarcation lines to invade and “colonize” the Arab nations.[86] Anwar Sadat was equally angry with Gaddafi and revealed that he was responsible for foiling a 1973 submarine attack Libya planned for sinking the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 during an Israeli cruise. Gaddafi fired back, saying the Arabs could have destroyed Israel within 12 hours if they had adopted a sound strategy. Gaddafi charged Egyptian reporters with the breakdown of Libyan-Egyptian relations in 1973, and said Sadat was in-part to blame because he had “no control” of Egyptian information media.[112] Egypt’s peace talks in 1977 led to the Steadfastness and Confrontation Front, a group Gaddafi formed to reject the recognition of the Israeli state. Libya’s relations with Egypt broke down entirely that year, leading to the short-lived Libyan–Egyptian War. During the war, Libya sent its military across the border, but Egyptian forces fought back and forced them to retreat. Gaddafi’s animosity with Sadat was so high that in 1981, Gaddafi declared his death a national holiday.[113] He called it a just “punishment” for his role in the Camp David Accords.[112]

Maghreb countries

Gaddafi signed an agreement with Tunisian president Habib Bourguiba to merge nations in 1974.[114] The pact came as a surprise because Bouguiba had rebuked similar offers for over two years previously.[115] Weeks after the agreement, he postponed a referendum on the issue, effectively ending it weeks later. The idea of merging states was highly unpopular in Tunisia, and cost Bourguiba much of his people’s respect. The agreement was said to allow Bourguiba the presidency while Gaddafi would be defense minister. A later treaty with Morocco‘s Hassan II in 1984 broke down in two years when Hassan II met with Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres.[116] Gaddafi said recognition of Israel was “an act of treason”.[117] In 1989, Gaddafi was overjoyed by the Maghreb Pact between Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya. Gaddafi saw the Pact as a first step towards the formation of “one invincible Arab nation” and shouted for a state “from Marrakesh to Bahrain”, pumping his fists in the air.[118]

Palestinians

Gaddafi’s image in the Arab world was damaged severely in 1978 when Shia imam Musa al-Sadr disappeared en route to Libya.[119] The Libyan government consistently denied responsibility, but Lebanon held Gaddafi responsible, and continues to do so. Allegedly, Yasser Arafat asked Gaddafi to eliminate al-Sadr because of his opposition to Palestinians in the Lebanese Civil War.[61][119] Shia Lebanese vigilantes hijacked two Libyan aircraft in 1981, demanding information on al-Sadr’s whereabouts. Shia Muslims across the Arab world continue to view Gaddafi negatively since this incident. His relations with Shia-populated Lebanon and Iran soured as a result.[110] Lebanon formally indicted Gaddafi in 2008 for al-Sadr’s disappearance.[120][121] Some reports claim that al-Sadr still lives and secretly remains in jail in Libya.

In 1995 Gaddafi expelled some 30,000 Palestinians living in Libya, a response to the peace negotiations that had commenced between Israel and the PLO.[122]

Weapons of mass destruction programs

Gaddafi’s attempts to procure weapons of mass destruction began in 1972, when Gaddafi tried to get the People’s Republic of China to sell him a nuclear bomb.[123]

In 1977, he tried to get a bomb from Pakistan, but Pakistan severed ties before Libya succeeded in building a weapon.[123] After ties were restored, Gaddafi tried to buy a nuclear weapon from India, but instead, India and Libya agreed for a peaceful use of nuclear energy, in line with India’s “atoms for peace” policy.[124]

Several people around the world were indicted for assisting Gaddafi in his chemical weapons programs. Thailand reported its citizens had helped build a storage facility for nerve gas. Germany sentenced a businessman, Jürgen Hippenstiel-Imhausen, to five years in prison for involvement in Libyan chemical weapons.[123][16]

Inspectors from the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) verified in 2004 that Libya owned a stockpile of 23 metric tons of mustard gas and more than 1,300 metric tons of precursor chemicals. Disposing of such large quantities of chemical weapons was expected to be expensive.[125] Following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein by US forces in 2003, Gaddafi announced that his nation had an active weapons of mass destruction program, but was willing to allow international inspectors into his country to observe and dismantle them. US President George W. Bush and other supporters of theIraq War portrayed Gaddafi’s announcement as a direct consequence of the Iraq War. Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, a supporter of the Iraq War, was quoted as saying that Gaddafi had privately phoned him, admitting as much. Many foreign policy experts, however, contend that Gaddafi’s announcement was merely a continuation of his prior attempts at normalizing relations with the West and getting the sanctions removed. To support this, they point to the fact that Libya had already made similar offers starting four years before one was finally accepted.[126][127] International inspectors turned up several tons of chemical weaponry in Libya, as well as an active nuclear weapons program.

OPEC

From the beginning of his leadership, Gaddafi confronted foreign oil companies for increases in revenues. Immediately after assuming office, he demanded that oil companies pay 10 percent more taxes and an increased royalty of 44 cents per barrel. Gaddafi argued that Libyan oil was closer to Europe, and was cheaper to ship than oil from the Persian Gulf. Western companies refused his demands, and Gaddafi asserted himself by cutting the production of Occidental Petroleum, an American company in Libya, from 800,000 to 500,000 that year.[128] Occidental Petroleum’s President, Armand Hammer, met with Gaddafi in Tripoli and had difficulty understanding exactly what he wanted at first. He said at one meeting, Prime Minister Abdessalam Jalloud finally took out his gun belt and left the loaded revolver in full view. Later, Hammer recalled that moment and said he felt then “that Gaddafi was ready to negotiate”.[129][130] In The Age of Oil, historians considered Gaddafi’s success in 1970 to be the “decisive spark that set off an unprecedented chain reaction” in oil-producing nations.[131] Libya continued a winning streak against the oil companies throughout the 1970s energy crisis; Later that year, the Shah of Iran raised his demands to match those of Gaddafi. OPEC nations began a game of “leap frogging” to win further concessions from the oil companies after following Gaddafi’s lead.[128]

Gaddafi and the Shah of Iran both argued for quadrupling the cost of oil in 1975.[132] In 1975, Gaddafi allegedly organized the hostage incident at OPEC in Vienna, Austria.[133]

Alliances with other authoritarian national leaders

See also: Idi Amin and Uganda-Tanzania War

Gaddafi had a close relationship with Idi Amin, whom he sponsored and gave some of the key ideas, such as expulsions of Indian-Ugandans.[134] When Amin’s government began to crumble, Gaddafi sent troops to fight against Tanzania on behalf of Amin and 600 Libyan soldiers lost their lives.[135] Gaddafi also financed Mengistu Haile Mariam‘s military junta in Ethiopia, which was later convicted of one of the deadliest genocides in modern history.[136]

Gaddafi ran a school near Benghazi called the World Revolutionary Center (WRC). A notable number of its graduates have seized power in African countries.[137] Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso andIdriss Déby of Chad were graduates of this school, and are currently in power in their respective countries.[138] Gaddafi trained and supported Charles Taylor of LiberiaFoday Sankoh, the founder ofRevolutionary United Front, and Jean-Bédel Bokassa, the Emperor of the Central African Empire.[135][136]

Jakaya Kikwete, the president of Tanzania, embraces Gaddafi during theAfrican Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2 Feb. 2009.

In Europe, Gaddafi had close ties with Slobodan Milošević and Jörg Haider. According to the Daily Mail, Jörg Haider received tens of millions of dollars from both Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein.[139] Gaddafi also aligned himself with the Orthodox Serbs against Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo, supporting Milošević even when he was charged with large-scale ethnic cleansing against Albanians in Kosovo.[140][141][142]

Gaddafi developed a friendship with Hugo Chávez and in March 2009 a stadium was named after the Venezuelan leader.[143] Documents seized during a 2008 raid on FARC showed that both Chavez and Gaddafi backed the group.[138] Gaddafi developed an ongoing relationship with FARC, becoming acquainted with its leaders at meetings of revolutionary groups which were regularly hosted in Libya.[137][138] In September 2009, at the Second Africa-South America Summiton Isla Margarita, Venezuela, Gaddafi joined Chávez in calling for an “anti-imperialist” front across Africa and Latin America. Gaddafi proposed the establishment of a South Atlantic Treaty Organization to rival NATO, saying: “The world’s powers want to continue to hold on to their power. Now we have to fight to build our own power.”[144]

Focus on activities in Africa

In 1998, Gaddafi turned his attention away from Arab nationalism. He eliminated a government office in charge of promoting pan-Arab ideas and told reporters “I had been crying slogans of Arab Unity and brandishing standard of Arab nationalism for 40 years, but it was not realised. That means that I was talking in the desert. I have no more time to lose talking with Arabs…I am returning back to realism…I now talk about Pan-Africanism and African Unity. The Arab world is finished…Africa is a paradise…and it is full of natural resources like water, uranium, cobalt, iron, manganese.”[145] Gaddafi’s state-run television networks switched from middle eastern soap operas to African themes involving slavery. The background of a unified Arab League that had been a staple of Libyan television for over two decades was replaced by a map of Africa. Gaddafi sported a map of Africa on his outfits from then forward. He also stated that, “I would like Libya to become a black country. Hence, I recommend to Libyan men to marry only black women and to Libyan women to marry black men.”[146][147][148]

Gaddafi’s support frequently went to leaders recognized by the United Nations as dictators and warlords. Gaddafi used anti-Western rhetoric against the UN, and complained that the International Criminal Court was a “new form of world terrorism” that wanted to recolonize developing countries.[149] Gaddafi opposed the ICC’s arrest warrant for Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir and personally gave refuge to Idi Amin in Libya after his fall from rule in 1979.[150]

According to the Special Court for Sierra LeoneCharles Taylor‘s orders for “The amputation of the arms and legs of men, women, and children as part of a scorched-earth campaign was designed to take over the region’s rich diamond fields and was backed by Gaddafi, who routinely reviewed their progress and supplied weapons”.[138][151]

Gaddafi intervened militarily in the Central African Republic in 2001 to protect his ally Ange-Félix Patassé from overthrow. Patassé signed a deal giving Libya a 99-year lease to exploit all of that country’s natural resources, including uranium, copper, diamonds, and oil.[137]

Gaddafi acquired at least 20 luxurious properties after he went to rescue Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.[137]

Gaddafi’s strong military support and finances gained him several allies across the continent. He was bestowed with the title “King of Kings of Africa” in 2008, as he had remained in power longer than any African king. Gaddafi was celebrated in the presence of over 200 African traditional rulers and kings, although his views on African political and military unification received a lukewarm response from their governments.[9] His 2009 forum for African kings was canceled by the Ugandan hosts, who believed that traditional rulers discussing politics would lead to instability.[152] On 1 February 2009, a ‘coronation ceremony’ in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was held to coincide with the 53rd African Union Summit, at which he was elected head of the African Union for the year.[153] When his election was opposed by an African leader, Gaddafi arranged with Silvio Berlusconi to have two escorts sent to that leader to have him change his mind. It worked, and he was elected Chairman of the African Union from 2009 to 2010.[154] Gaddafi told the assembled African leaders: “I shall continue to insist that our sovereign countries work to achieve the United States of Africa.”[155]

State-sponsored terrorism

Gaddafi supported militant organizations that held anti-Western sympathies around the world.[156] The Foreign Minister of Libya called the massacres “heroic acts”.[157] Gaddafi fueled a number of Islamist and communist militant groups in the Philippines, including the New People’s Army of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The country still struggles with their murders and kidnappings.[46][158][159] In Indonesia, the Organisasi Papua Merdeka was a Libyan backed militant group. Vanuatu‘s ruling party also enjoyed Libyan support. In Australia he attempted to radicalize Australian Aborigines, left-wing unions,[160] Arab Australians,[160] against the “imperialist” government of Australia.[54][54] In New Zealand he financed the Workers Revolutionary Party[160][161] and attempted to radicalize Maoris.

In 1979, Gaddafi said he supported the Iranian Revolution, and hoped that “…he (the Shah) ends up in the hands of the Iranian people, where he deserves.”[162]

Gaddafi explicitly stated that he would kill Libyan dissidents that had escaped from Libya, raising tensions with refugee countries and European governments. In 1985 he stated that he would continue to support the Red Army Faction, the Red Brigades, and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) as long as European countries supported anti-Gaddafi Libyans.[106] In 1976, after a series of attacks by the IRA, Gaddafi announced that “the bombs which are convulsing Britain and breaking its spirit are the bombs of Libyan people. We have sent them to the Irish revolutionaries so that the British will pay the price for their past deeds”.[106] In April 1984 some Libyan refugees in London protested the execution of two dissidents. Libyan diplomats shot at 11 people and killed Yvonne Fletcher, a British policewoman. The incident led to the cessation of diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and Libya for over a decade.[163] In June 1984 Gaddafi asserted that he wanted his agents to assassinate dissident refugees even when they were on pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca and, in August that year, a Libyan plot in Mecca was thwarted by Saudi Arabian police.[56]

On 5 April 1986 Libyan agents bombed “La Belle” nightclub in West Berlin, killing three and injuring 229. Gaddafi’s plan was intercepted by Western intelligence and more detailed information was retrieved some years later from Stasi archives. Libyan agents who had carried out the operation, from the Libyan embassy in East Germany, were prosecuted by the reunited Germany in the 1990s.[164]

Following the 1986 bombing of Libya, Gaddafi intensified his support for anti-American government organizations. He financed the Nation of Islam, which emerged as one of the leading organizations receiving assistance from Libya; and Al-Rukn, in their emergence as an indigenous anti-American armed revolutionary movement.[165] Members of Al-Rukn were arrested in 1986 for preparing to conduct strikes on behalf of Libya, including blowing up U.S. government buildings and bringing down an airplane; the Al-Rukn defendants were convicted in 1987 of “offering to commit bombings and assassinations on U.S. soil for Libyan payment.”[165] In 1986, Libyan state television announced that Libya was training suicide squads to attack American and European interests. He began financing the IRA again in 1986, to retaliate against the British for harboring American fighter planes.[166]

Gaddafi also sought close relations with the Soviet Union and purchased arms from the Soviet bloc.

Seeking international acceptance

Gaddafi with then-President of RussiaVladimir Putin in 2008

Gaddafi (at far right) attending the G-8 Summit in 2009. Barack Obama is visible just below the globe-emblem. Most web-circulated photos captioned as “Obama / Gaddafi meeting” actually just show the handshake from this event.

Gaddafi with Spanish President of the Government José Luis Rodríguez Zapateroat the third EU-Africa Summit in Tripoli in November 2010.

Main article: Lockerbie bombing

As early as 1981, Gaddafi feared that the Reagan Administration would combat his leadership and sought to reduce his maverick image. He and his cabinet talked frequently about the pullout of American citizens from Libya. Gaddafi feared that the United States would be plotting economic sanctions or military action against his government. In 1981, he publicly announced that he would not send any more hit teams to kill citizens in Europe, and quickly obeyed a 1981 armistice with Chad.[167] In 1987, Gaddafi proposed an easing of relations between the United States and Libya. Speaking of the 1986 bombing of Libya, he said, “They trained people to assassinate me and they failed. They tried all the secret action against us and they failed. They have not succeeded in defeating us. They should look for other alternatives to have some kind of rapprochement.”[168]

After the fall of Soviet client states in eastern Europe, Libya appeared to reassess its position in world affairs and began a long process of improving its image in the West.[169]

In 1994, Gaddafi eased his relationship with the Western world, beginning with his atonement for the Lockerbie bombings. For three years, he had refused toextradite two Libyan intelligence agents indicted for planting a bomb on Pan Am Flight 103. South African president Nelson Mandela, who took special interest in the issue, negotiated with the United States on Gaddafi’s behalf. Mandela and Gaddafi had forged a close friendship starting with his release from prison in 1990. Mandela persuaded Gaddafi to hand over the defendants to the Scottish Court in the Netherlands, where they faced trial in 1999. One was found not guilty and the other, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, was given a life sentence.[170] For Gaddafi’s cooperation, the UN suspended its sanctions against Libya in 2001. Two years later, Libya wrote to the UN Security Council formally accepting “responsibility for the actions of its officials” in respect to the Lockerbie bombing. It was later claimed by Libyan Prime Minister Shukri Ghanem and his son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi that they did not believe they were responsible and that they simply wrote the letter to remove UN sanctions.[171] Gaddafi agreed to pay up to US$2.7 billion to the victims’ families, and completed most of the payout in 2003. Later that year, Britain and Bulgaria co-sponsored a UN resolution to remove the UN sanctions entirely.[172] In 2004, Shukri Ghanem, then-Libyan Prime Minister, openly told a Western reporter that Gaddafi was “paying for peace” with the West, and that there was never any evidence or guilt for the Lockerbie bombing.[173]

Gaddafi’s government faced growing opposition from Islamic extremists during the 1990s, particularly the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which nearly assassinated him in 1996. Gaddafi began giving counter-terrorism intelligence to MI6 and the CIA in the 1990s, and issued the first arrest warrant for Osama bin Laden in 1998, after he was linked to the killing of German anti-terrorism agents in Libya.[174] Gaddafi also accused the United States of training and supporting bin Laden for war against the Soviet Union. He said the United States was bombing al-Qaeda camps that they had supported and built for him in the past. Gaddafi also claimed that the bombing attempts by Bill Clinton were done to divert attention from his sex scandal.[175]

Intelligence links from Gaddafi’s regime to the U.S. and the U.K. deepened during the George W. Bush administration; the CIA began bringing alleged terrorists to Libya for torture under the “extraordinary rendition” program. Some of those renditioned were Gaddafi’s political enemies, including one current rebel leader in the 2011 NATO-backed war in Libya. The relationship was so close that the CIA provided “talking points for Gaddafi, logistical details for [rendition] flights, and what seems to have been the bartering of Gaddafi’s opponents, some of whom had ties to Islamist groups, for his cooperation.”[176]

He offered to dismantle his active weapons of mass destruction program in 1999. Gaddafi denounced the al-Qaeda bombers for the 11 September attacks and appeared on American television for an interview with George Stephanopoulos.[citation needed] In 2002, Saddam Hussein paid Gaddafi $3.5 billion to save him should he have an internal coup or war with America.[177] In 2003, following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein by U.S. forces, Gaddafi again admitted to having an active weapons of mass destruction program, and was willing to dismantle it. His announcement was well-publicized and during interviews, Gaddafi confessed that the Iraq War “may have influenced him”, but he would rather “focus on the positive”, and hoped that other nations would follow his example.[178] Gaddafi’s commitment to the War against Terror attracted support from the United States and Britain. Prime minister Tony Blair publicly met with Gaddafi in 2004, commending him as a new ally in the War on Terror. During his visit, Blair lobbied for the Royal Dutch Shell oil company, which secured a deal in Libya worth $500 million.[179][180] The United States restored its diplomatic relations with Libya during the Bush administration, removing Libya from its list of nations supporting terrorism.[181]President George W. Bush and Dick Cheney portrayed Gaddafi’s announcement as a direct consequence of the Iraq War. Hans Blix, then UN chief weapons inspector, speculated that Gaddafi feared being removed like Saddam Hussein: “I can only speculate, but I would imagine that Gaddafi could have been scared by what he saw happen in Iraq. While the Americans would have difficulty in doing the same in Iran and in North Korea as they have done in Iraq, Libya would be more exposed, so maybe he will have reasons to be worried.”[182] Historians have speculated that Gaddafi was merely continuing his attempts at normalizing relations with the West to get oil sanctions removed.[126][183][184][127] There is also evidence that his government was weakened by falling gas prices during the 1990s and 2000s,[185] and his rule was facing significant challenges from its high unemployment rate.[186] The offer was accepted and international inspectors in Libya were led to chemical weaponry as well as an active nuclear weapons program.[16][187] In 2004, inspectors from the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) verified that Libya had owned a stockpile of 23 metric tons of mustard gas and more than 1,300 metric tons of precursor chemicals. By 2006, Libya had nearly finished construction of its Rabta Chemical Destruction facility, which cost $25 million,[125][188] and Libyan officials were angered by the fact that their nuclear centrifuges were given to the United States rather than the United Nations. British officials were allowed to tour the site in 2006.[180]

In 2007, the Bulgarian medics were returned to Bulgaria, where they were released. Representatives of the European Union made it clear that their release was key to normalizing relations between Libya and the EU. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, visited Libya in 2007 and signed a number of bilateral and multilateral agreements with Gaddafi, including a deal to build a nuclear-powered facility in Libya to desalinate ocean water for drinking.[189] Gaddafi and Vladimir Putin reportedly discussed establishing a Russian military base in Libya.[190] In August 2008, Gaddafi and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi signed a landmark cooperation treaty in Benghazi.[191][192]

Gaddafi met with then U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice in September 2008,[193] where she pressed him to complete his payout for the Lockerbie bombings. Libya and the United States finalized their 20-year standoff over the Lockerbie bombings in 2008 when Libya paid into a compensation fund for victims of the Lockerbie bombing1986 Berlin discotheque bombing, and to American victims of the 1989 UTA Flight 772 bombing. In exchange, President Bush signed Executive Order 13477 restoring the Libyan government’s immunity from terrorism-related lawsuits and dismissing all of the pending compensation cases in the United States.[194]

In June 2009, Gaddafi made his first visit to Rome, where he again met Berlusconi, president Giorgio Napolitano and senate president Renato SchifaniChamber president Gianfranco Fini cancelled the meeting because of Gaddafi’s delay.[195] The Democratic Party and Italy of Values opposed the visit[196][197] and many protests were staged throughout Italy by human rights non-governmental organizations and Italian Radicals.[198] Gaddafi also took part in the G8 summit in L’Aquila in July as Chairman of the African Union.[199] During the summit a handshake between U.S. President Barack Obama[199] and Muammar Gaddafi marked the first time the Libyan leader had been greeted by a serving U.S. President.[199] Italian President Giorgio Napolitano hosted a dinner where Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister and G8 host, overturned protocol at the last moment by having Gaddafi sit next to him, just two places away from president Obama who was seated on Berlusconi’s right-hand side.[200][201][202][203]

He also met Senators John McCain[204] and Joe Lieberman[citation needed] in 2009. In August 2009, convicted bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was released to Libya on compassionate grounds and was received with a large celebration. Gaddafi and his government were criticized by Western leaders for his participation in this celebration.[205][206][207] On 23 September 2009, Muammar Gaddafi addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York.[208] In 2010, Gaddafi agreed to pay US$3.5 billion to the victims of IRA attacks he assisted during the 1980s.[209]

2011 Libyan civil war

People protesting against Gaddafi inDublin, March 2011.

See also: LSE Libya Links

On 17 February 2011, major political protests began in Libya against Gaddafi’s government. During the following week these protests gained significant momentum and size, despite stiff resistance from the Gaddafi government. By late February the country appeared to be rapidly descending into chaos,[210]and the government lost control of most of Eastern Libya. Gaddafi fought back, accusing the rebels of being “drugged” and linked to al-Qaeda.[211] His military forces killed rebelling civilians, and relied heavily on the Khamis Brigade, led by one of his sons Khamis Gaddafi, and on tribal leaders loyal to him.[212] He imported foreign mercenaries to defend his government,[213] reportedly paying Ghanaian mercenaries as much as US$2,500 per day for their services.[212]Reports from Libya also confirmed involvement with Belarus,[214][215] and the presence of Ukrainian and Serbian mercenaries.[216][217][217][218]

Gaddafi’s violent response to the protesters prompted defections from his government.[210][nb 2][219] Gaddafi’s “number two” man, Abdul Fatah Younis, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil and several key ambassadors and diplomats resigned from their posts in protest.[212] Other government officials refused to follow orders from Gaddafi, and were jailed for insubordination.

At the beginning of March 2011, Gaddafi returned from a hideout, relying on considerable amounts of Libyan and US cash that had apparently been stored in the capital.[220] Gaddafi’s forces had retaken momentum and were in shooting range of Benghazi by March 2011 when the UN declared a no fly zone to protect the civilian population of Libya.[221] On 30 April the Libyan government claimed that a NATO airstrike killed Gaddafi’s sixth son and three of his grandsons at his son’s home in Tripoli. Government officials said that Muammar Gaddafi and his wife were visiting the home when it was struck, but both were unharmed. Gaddafi son’s death came one day after the Libyan leader appeared on state television calling for talks with NATO to end the airstrikes which have been hitting Tripoli and other Gaddafi strongholds since the previous month. Gaddafi suggested there was room for negotiation, but he vowed to stay in Libya. Western officials remained divided over whether Gaddafi was a legitimate military target under the United Nations Security Council resolution that authorized the air campaign. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that NATO was “not targeting Gaddafi specifically” but that his command-and-control facilities were legitimate targets—including a facility inside his sprawling Tripoli compound that was hit with airstrikes 25 April.[222]

Crimes against humanity arrest warrant

The UN referred the massacres of unarmed civilians to the International Criminal Court.[223] Among the crimes being investigated by the prosecution was whether Gaddafi purchased and authorized the use of Viagra-like drugs among soldiers for the purpose of raping women and instilling fear.[224] His government’s heavy-handed approach to quelling the protests was characterized by the International Federation for Human Rights as a strategy of scorched earth. The acts of “indiscriminate killings of civilians” was charged as crimes against humanity, as defined in Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.[225]

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants on 27 June 2011 for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Senussi, head of state security for charges, concerning crimes against humanity.[1][226][227] According to Matt Steinglass of The Financial Times the charges call for Gaddafi, and his two co-conspirators, to “stand trial for the murder and persecution of demonstrators by Libyan security forces since the uprising based in the country’s east that began in February.”

Libyan officials rejected the ICC’s authority, saying that the ICC has “no legitimacy whatsoever” and that “all of its activities are directed at African leaders”.[228] A Libyan government representative, justice minister Mohammed al-Qamoodi, responded by saying, “The leader of the revolution and his son do not hold any official position in the Libyan government and therefore they have no connection to the claims of the ICC against them …”[226] This makes Gaddafi the second still-serving state-leader to have warrants issued against them, the first being Omar al-Bashir of Sudan.[227]

Russia and other countries, including China and Germany, abstained from voting in the UN[229] and have not joined the NATO coalition, which has taken action in Libya by bombing the government’s forces. Mikhail Margelov, the Kremlin special representative for Africa, speaking in an interview for Russian newspaper Izvestia, said that the “Kremlin accepted that Col Gaddafi [sic] had no political future and that his family would have to relinquish its vice-like grip on the Libyan economy.”[230] He also said that “It is quite possible to solve the situation without the colonel.”[230]

Loss of international recognition

In connection with the Libyan uprising, Gaddafi’s attempts to influence public opinion in Europe and the United States came under increased scrutiny. Since the beginning of the 2011 conflict a number of countries pushed for the international isolation of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. On 15 July 2011, at a meeting in Istanbul, more than 30 governments recognised the Transitional National Council (TNC) as the legitimate government of Libya.[231][232]

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “The United States views the Gaddafi regime as no longer having any legitimate authority in Libya … And so I am announcing today that, until an interim authority is in place, the United States will recognize the TNC as the legitimate governing authority for Libya, and we will deal with it on that basis.”[231] Gaddafi responded to the announcement with a speech on Libyan national television, in which he said “Trample on those recognitions, trample on them under your feet … They are worthless”.[231]

On 25 August 2011, with most of Tripoli having fallen out of Gaddafi’s control, the Arab League proclaimed the anti-Gaddafi National Transitional Council to be “the legitimate representative of the Libyan state”, on which basis Libya would resume its membership of the League.[233]

Battle of Tripoli

During the Battle of Tripoli, Gaddafi lost effective political and military control of Tripoli after his compound was captured by rebel forces. Rebel forces entered Green Square in the city center, tearing down posters of Gaddafi and flying flags of the rebellion. He continued to give addresses through radio, calling upon his supporters to crush the rebels.

On 24 August 2011, after the capture of his stronghold of Bab al-Azizia by loyalist forces, a photo album filled with pages of pictures of Condoleezza Rice was discovered inside the compound; the discovery was confirmed by an AP reporter, though it could not be confirmed that the album had belonged to Gaddafi. In a 2007 television interview, Gaddafi had previously praised Rice, saying “I support my darling black African woman. I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders… Leezza, Leezza, Leezza… I love her very much.”[234][235] During Rice’s visit to Libya as Secretary of State, the wealthy Gaddafi showered her with gifts, including a diamond ring in a wood box, a locket with his photograph and a DVD with a musical instrument, with a total value of $212,225 (2008 value).[236][237][238] During the visit, Gaddafi also showed the photo album to Rice, who described it then as “not standard diplomatic practice.”[239]

In September, an underground chamber was discovered beneath Tripoli’s Al Fatah University, the largest university in the city, containing (among other things) a bedroom, a Jacuzzi, and a fully equipped gynecological operating chamber. Only Gaddafi and his top associates had been allowed access to it in the past.[240][241] In the 1980s, several students were allegedly hanged in public on the university campus premises. On at least one of these occasions, young high school students were apparently brought by the bus loads to witness the hanging. The victims were typically accused of pursuing activities against the Al Fatah Revolution and the Libyan People.[citation needed]

Capture and death

On 20 September 2011, Gaddafi made a final speech, declaring that “Anyone who says Qaddafi’s government has fallen is nothing but ridiculous and a joke. Qaddafi doesn’t have a government, therefore that government can’t fall. Qaddafi is out of power since 1977 when I have passed the power to the People’s Committees of the Jamahiriya. When 2,000 tribes meet and declare that only the Libyan people represent Libya, doesn’t that say enough? This is the answer to NATO which has said the National Transitional Council from Benghazi represents the Libyan people. The Libyan people are here and they are with me, nobody can represent us. So no legitimacy to anything else or anyone else, the power belongs to the people. All Libyans are members of the People’s Committees. Anything else is false.”[4][5]

On 20 October 2011, a National Transitional Council (NTC) official told Al Jazeera that Gaddafi had been captured that day by Libyan forces near his hometown of Sirte.[242][243] He had been in a convoy of vehicles that was targeted by a French air strike on a road about 3 kilometres (2 mi) west of Sirte, killing dozens of loyalist fighters. Gaddafi survived but was wounded and took refuge with several of his bodyguards in a drain underneath the road west of the city. Around noon[244] NTC fighters found the group and took Gaddafi prisoner. Shortly afterward, he was shot dead. At least four mobile phone videos showed rebels beating Gaddafi and manhandling him on the back of a utility vehicle before his death. One video suggested a Libyan fighter sodomized him “with some kind of stick or knife” after his capture.[245] In another video, he was seen being rolled around on the ground as rebels pulled off his shirt, though it was unclear if he was already dead. Later pictures of his body showed that he had wounds in the abdomen, chest, and head.[246][247] A rebel fighter who identified himself as Senad el-Sadik el-Ureybi later claimed to have shot and killed Gaddafi. He claimed to have shot Gaddafi in the head and chest, and that it took half an hour for him to die.[248] Gaddafi’s body was subsequently flown to Misrata[249] and was placed in the freezer of a local market alongside the bodies of Defense Minister Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr and his son and national security adviser Moatassem Gaddafi. The bodies were put on public display, with Libyans from all over the country coming to view them. Many took pictures on their cell phones.

Libya’s Prime Minister[250] and several NTC figures confirmed Gaddafi’s death, claiming he died of wounds suffered during his capture.[251][252][253] News channels aired a graphic video claiming to be of Gaddafi’s bloodied body after capture.[254][255]

Ideology

Gaddafi’s Green Book, English and Russian editions

On the Muslim prophet Muhammad‘s birthday in 1973, Gaddafi delivered his famous “Five-Point Address” which officially implemented Sharia.[46] Gaddafi’s ideology was largely based on Nasserism, blending Arab nationalism,[42][256] aspects of the welfare state,[257][258][259] and what Gaddafi termed “popular democracy”,[260] or more commonly “direct, popular democracy“. He called this system “Islamic socialism“, as he disfavored the atheistic quality of communism. While he permitted private control over small companies, the government controlled the larger ones. Welfare, “liberation” (or “emancipation” depending on the translation),[261] and education[262] was emphasized. He also imposed a system of Islamic morals[263][264] and outlawed alcohol and gambling. School vacations were canceled to allow the teaching of Gaddafi’s ideology in the summer of 1973.[46]

Gaddafi was known for erratic statements, and commentators often expressed uncertainty about what was sarcasm and what was simply incoherent. Over the course of his four-decade rule, he accumulated a wide variety of eccentric and often contradictory statements.[265] He once said that HIV was “a peace virus, not an aggressive virus” and assured attendees at the African Union that “if you are straight you have nothing to fear from AIDS”.[266] He also said that the H1N1 virus was a biological weapon manufactured by a foreign military, and assured Africans that the tsetse fly and mosquito were “God’s armies which will protect us against colonialists”. Should these ‘enemies’ come to Africa, “they will get malaria and sleeping sickness”.[266]

Gaddafi was an unabashed proponent of Islam, often with blatant disregard for religious tolerance. He said that Islam is the one true faith and that those who do not follow Islam are “losers”. On another instance, he said that the Christian Bible was a “forgery” and that Jesus Christ was a messenger for the sons of Israel only.[267] In 2006, he predicted Europe would become a Muslim continent within a few decades as a result of its growing Arab population.[268][269] He endorsed the concept of a peaceful Muslim nation-state. Gaddafi expressed violent hostility towards Israel and the Jewish people throughout his career. At first, he expelled Jews from Libya and sided with Arab states for the elimination of the state of Israel. He funded and supported governments and paramilitary organizations that fought Israel. He said Arab nations that negotiate with Israel are “cowardly”, and on multiple occasions, he encouraged Palestinians to rise up against Israel. He believed in conspiracy theories that Israeli agents had assassinated John F. Kennedy and that Barack Obama’s foreign policy was influenced by fears of being assassinated by Israel.[270][271]In 2007, he suggested a single-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, at first saying “This is the fundamental solution, or else the Jews will be annihilated in the future, because the Palestinians have [strategic] depth”. In 2009, he moderated his proposal in a New York Times commentary, saying a single-state solution would “move beyond old conflicts and look to a unified future based on shared culture and respect.”[272]

During Gaddafi’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly on 23 September 2009,[273] he blamed the United Nations for failing to prevent 65 wars[274] and claimed that the Security Council had too much power and should be abolished.[275][276][277] He demanded that Europe pay its former colonies $7.77 trillion dollars to pay for past imperialism or face “mass immigration”.[278] He opposed the War in Afghanistan, saying the Taliban‘s religious state was peaceful and not linked to bin Laden.[citation needed] He also defended Somali pirates, claiming they protected Somali waters from foreigners.[citation needed]

Despite his ongoing hostility to Jews, rumors arose that he had Jewish heritage. Two Israeli women came forth on Israel’s Channel 2 News to claim that they were close blood relations with Gaddafi. Guita Brown claimed that she was Gaddafi’s second cousin. Brown’s daughter, Rachel Saada, elaborated that Gaddafi’s grandmother was Jewish, and that she left her first husband and married a Muslim man in her second marriage.[279] The older woman also spoke with Israel National News (which identified her as Gita Boaron), and repeated the same claim.[280]

Assassination attempts and plots

  • In 1969, the British Special Air Service (S.A.S.) was contacted by the Libyan Royal Family and planned an assassination attempt to restore the Libyan monarchy. The plan was dubbed the “Hilton Assignment”, named after a Libyan jail. The plan was to release 150 political prisoners from a jail in Tripoli as a catalyst for a general uprising. The prisoners would be recruited for a coup attempt, and the British agents would leave them to take over the nation. The plan was called off at a late stage by the British Secret Intelligence Service because the United States government decided that Gaddafi was anti-Marxist and therefore acceptable.[281][282]
  • In 1976, Tunisia’s state television reported that Gaddafi had been fired at by a lone assailant. None of the shots hit him.[283]
  • In 1981, French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing plotted an assassination attempt with Egypt. His administration spoke with the Reagan administration for approval, but the United States did not support the measure. The plot was abandoned after Giscard’s term in office.[284][285]
  • In 1986, the United States bombed Libya, including Gaddafi’s family compound in the vast Bab al-Azizia Barracks in southern Tripoli. The U.S. Government consistently said that the bombings were “surgical strikes” and were not intended to kill Gaddafi. However, Oliver North did devise a plot at the time to lure Gaddafi into his compound using Terry Waite. The plot violated US law, which prohibited assassinations, and was never put into action.[286] On 15 April, Gaddafi and his family had fled his compound in the Bab al-Azizia Barracks moments before it was bombed. He received a phone call the night of 15 April, warning him about an attack. The origin of the phone call remains under speculation, but Maltese Prime Minister Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici and Italian politician Bettino Craxi have been primary suspects.
  • In 1993, over 2,000 Libyan soldiers plotted to assassinate Gaddafi.[287] The soldiers were members of the Warfalla tribe, which rebelled because it was not well-represented in the upper ranks of the Libyan Army. The coup attempt was crushed by the Libyan Air Force, which was entirely made of members of the Qadhadhfa tribe, which Gaddafi belongs to. The tribal tensions that resulted with the Warfalla and the Magariha caused Gaddafi to place his second-in-command, Abdessalam Jalloud, a Magariha, under house arrest, and led to oppression of the Warfalla.[288] The rebellion was largest in the city of Misrata. Libyan media did not cover any reports on the rebellion, but European diplomats saw large numbers of wounded and casualties in the hospitals.[289]
  • In February 1996, Islamic extremists attacked Gaddafi’s motorcade near the city of Sirte.[290] Allegedly, Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service was involved, which was denied by future foreign secretary Robin Cook. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office later stated: “We have never denied that we knew of plots against Gaddafi.”[291] In August 1998, former British MI5 officer David Shayler renewed his attacks on the secret services, claiming that MI6 had invested GB£100,000 in a plot to assassinate Gaddafi.[292]
  • In June 1998, Islamic militants opened fire on Gaddafi’s motorcade near the town of Dirnah. One of his Amazonian Guards sacrificed herself to save his life. He was injured in the elbow according to witnesses.[293]

Marriages and children

His sons, Moatassem (pictured) and Saif, were prominent in government politics. There was speculation about a succession struggle between the two. Moatassem withHillary Clinton, Treaty Room, Washington, DC, 21 April 2009.

Gaddafi’s first wife was Fatiha al-Nuri (1969–1970). His second wife was Safia Farkash, née el-Brasai, a former nurse from Obeidat tribe born inBayda.[294][295] He met her in 1969,[citation needed] following the revolt, when he was hospitalized with appendicitis; the couple remained married until his death. Gaddafi had eight biological children, seven of them sons.

  • Muhammad al-Gaddafi (born 1970), his eldest son, was the only child born to Gaddafi’s first wife, and ran the Libyan Olympic Committee.[294] On 21 August 2011, during the Battle of Tripoli, rebel forces of the National Transitional Council claimed to have accepted Muhammad’s surrender as they overtook the city.[296] This was later confirmed when he gave a phone interview to Al Jazeera, saying that he had surrendered to the rebels and had been treated well.[297] He reportedly escaped the next day with the aid of remaining loyalist forces, fleeing to neighboring Algeria with his mother, another brother and his sister.[298]
  • Saif al-Islam Gaddafi (born 25 June 1972), his second son, is an architect who was long-rumoured to be Gaddafi’s successor. He was a spokesman to the Western world, and he has negotiated treaties with Italy and the United States. He was viewed as politically moderate, and in 2006, after criticizing his father’s government, he briefly left Libya. In 2007, Gaddafi exchanged angry letters with his son regarding his son’s statements admitting the Bulgarian nurses had been tortured.[299] During the Battle of Sirte on 20 October 2011, he tried to escape and it has been reported that he was captured by rebel forces and was flown to a hospital but this has not been confirmed.[300]
  • Al-Saadi al-Gaddafi (born 25 May 1973), is a professional football player. On 22 August 2011, he was reported to have been arrested by the National Liberation Army.[301] However, this turned out to be incorrect. In the late evening of 22 August 2011 he spoke with members of the international press.[302]On 30 August, a senior NTC official claimed that Al-Saadi al-Gaddafi had made contact to discuss the terms of his surrender, indicating also that he would wish to remain in Libya.[303]
  • Hannibal Muammar Gaddafi (born 20 September 1975),[304] is a former employee of the General National Maritime Transport Company, a company that specialized in oil exports. He is best-known for his violent incidents in Europe, attacking police officers in Italy (2001), drunk driving (2004), and for assaulting a girlfriend in Paris (2005).[305] In 2008, he was charged with assaulting two of staff in Switzerland, and was imprisoned by Swiss police. The arrest created a strong standoff between Libya and Switzerland.[306] He fled to neighboring Algeria with his mother, another brother and his sister.
  • Ayesha Gaddafi (born 1976), Gaddafi’s only biological daughter, is a lawyer who joined the defense teams of executed former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi.[294]She is married to her father’s cousin. She fled to neighboring Algeria with her mother and two of her brothers, where she gave birth to her fourth child.
  • Moatassem Gaddafi (1977 – 20 October 2011), Gaddafi’s fifth son, was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Libyan Army. He later served as Libya’s National Security Advisor. He was seen as a possible successor to his father, after Saif Al-Islam. Moatassem was killed along with his father during the battle of Sirte.[307]
  • Saif al-Arab al-Gaddafi (1982 – 30 April 2011) was appointed a military commander in the Libyan Army during the 2011 Libyan civil war. Saif al-Arab and three of Gaddafi’s grandchildren were reported killed by a NATO bombing in April 2011. This is disputed by the organizations alleged to be responsible.[308]
  • Khamis Gaddafi (27 May 1983 – 29 August 2011), his seventh son, was serving as the commander of the Libyan Army’s elite Khamis Brigade. On 30 August 2011, a spokesman for the NTC said it was “almost certain” Khamis Gaddafi had been killed in Tarhuna two days earlier, during clashes with units of the National Liberation Army.[309]

He is also said to have adopted two children, Hanna and Milad.[310][311]

  • Hana Moammar Gadafi[312] (claimed by Gaddafi to be his adopted daughter, but most facts surrounding this claim are disputed) was apparently killed at the age of four, during the retaliatory USbombing raids in 1986.[313][314] She may not have died; the adoption may have been posthumous; or he may have adopted a second daughter and given her the same name after the first one died.[315] Following the taking by rebels of the family residence in the Bab al-Azizia compound in Tripoli, The New York Times reported evidence (complete with photographs) of Hana’s life after her declared death, when she became a doctor and worked in a Tripoli hospital. Her passport was reported as showing a birth date of 11 November 1985, making her six months old at the time of the US raid.[316] However, a Libyan official told the Daily Telegraph that Gaddafi adopted a second daughter and named her Hana in honor of the first one who was killed.[317]

Gaddafi’s brother-in-law, Abdullah Senussi, is believed to head military intelligence.[318]

Flight to Algeria

As the Battle for Tripoli reached a climax in mid-August 2011, the family was forced to abandon their fortified compound. With the National Transitional Council in almost complete control of the country, on 27 August it was reported by the Egyptian news agency Mena that Libyan rebel fighters had seen six armoured Mercedes-Benz sedans, possibly carrying top Gaddafi regime figures, cross the border at the south-western Libyan town of Ghadames towards Algeria,[319] which at the time was denied by the Algerian authorities.

On 29 August, the Algerian government officially announced that Safia together with daughter Ayesha and sons Muhammad and Hannibal, had crossed into Algeria early on Monday 29 August.[319][320]An Algerian Foreign Ministry official said all the people in the convoy were now in Algiers, and that none of them had been named in warrants issued by the International Criminal Court for possible war crimes charges. Mourad Benmehidi, the Algerian permanent representative to the United Nations, later confirmed the details of the statement. The family had arrived at a Sahara desert entry point, in a Mercedes and a bus at 8:45 am local time. The exact number of people in the party was unconfirmed, but there were “many children” and they did not include Colonel Gaddafi. Resultantly the group was allowed in on humanitarian grounds, and the Algerian government had since informed the head of the Libyan National Transitional Council, who had made no official request for their return.[321]

Honorary qualifications

Gaddafi held an honorary degree from Megatrend University in Belgrade, conferred on him by former Yugoslavian president Zoran Lilić.[322]

Personal wealth

Italian companies had a strong foothold in Libya. Italy buys a quarter of Libya’s oil and 15% of its natural gas. The LIA owned significant shares in Italy’s Eni oil corporation, FiatUniCredit bank, andFinmeccanica.[323] In January 2002 Gaddafi purchased a 7.5% share of Italian football club Juventus for US$21 million, through the Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company.[324] This followed a long-standing association with Italian industrialist Gianni Agnelli and car manufacturer Fiat.[325]

On 25 February 2011 Britain’s Treasury set up a specialised unit to trace Gaddafi’s assets in Britain.[323] Gaddafi allegedly worked for years with Swiss banks to launder international banking transactions.[74]

Gaddafi had an Airbus A340 private jet, which he bought from Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia for $120 million in 2003.[326] Operated by Tripoli based Afriqiyah Airways, and decorated externally in their colours, it was used in 2009 to repatriate Lockerbie bomber Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, on his licensed release from prison in Scotland. The plane was captured at Tripoli airport in August 2011 as a result of the Libyan civil war, and found by BBC News reporter John Simpson to contain various luxuries including a jacuzzi.[327][328]

Titles

A Revolutionary Command Council was formed to rule the country, with Gaddafi as chairman. He added the title of prime minister in 1970, but gave up this title in 1972. Unlike some other military revolutionaries, Gaddafi did not promote himself to the rank of general upon seizing power, but rather accepted a ceremonial promotion from lieutenant to colonel[329] and remained at this rank. While at odds with Western military ranking, where a colonel would not rule a country or serve as commander-in-chief of its military, in Gaddafi’s own words Libya’s society is “ruled by the people”, so he did not need a more grandiose title or supreme military rank.[10]

Public image

Shown in Damascus in 2009, Gaddafi traveled with hisAmazonian Guards, an armed all-female military troupe

Gaddafi was frequently portrayed as erratic, conceited, and mercurial in nature. During the Reagan administration, the United States regarded him as “public enemy number one”[330] and Reagan dubbed him the “mad dog of the Middle East”.[331] Western media[who?] have since speculated that Gaddafi suffered from manic depressionschizophrenia, and megalomania. Among those who worked with Gaddafi, Anwar Sadat called him “unbalanced and immature” and “a vicious criminal.”Gaafar Nimeiry called him an “evil” person, however Yasser Arafat, who aligned himself with Gaddafi for much of his career, said Gaddafi was the “knight of revolutionary phrases”. On Gaddafi’s resistance to the 2011 uprising, Cuba‘s Fidel Castro commented that, “If he resists and does not yield to their demands, he will enter history as one of the great figures of the Arab nations.”[332] During a meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, he was said to be highly curious, asking a lot of questions and being especially interested in Malaysia’s economic success.[333] The attacks on Gaddafi’s image became less common as his relations with the West improved. He modeled many of his political ideals from the likes of Kwame NkrumahGamal Abdul Nasser and Mao Zedong.

In his own estimation, Gaddafi considered himself an intellectual and philosopher.[334] His former aides said he was “obsessive” about his image. He gave gold watches with images of his face to his staff as gifts. In 2011, a Brazilian plastic surgeon told the Associated Press that Gaddafi had been his patient in 1995 to avoid appearing old to the Libyan people.[335] He was known for a flamboyant dress sense, ranging from safari suits and sunglasses to more outlandish outfits apparently influenced by Liberace or Hollywood film characters.[336] He changed his clothing several times each day, and according to his former nurses, “enjoy[ed] surrounding himself with beautiful things and people.”

He hired several Ukrainian nurses to care for his and his family’s health.[337] Beginning in the 1980s he traveled with his Amazonian Guard, which was all-female, and reportedly was sworn to a life of celibacy. (However Dr Seham Sergheva reported in 2011 that some of them were subjected to rape and sexual abuse by Gaddafi, his sons and senior officials.[338]) In 2009, it was revealed that he did not travel without his trusted Ukrainian nurse Halyna Kolotnytska, noted as a “voluptuous blonde”.[339] Kolotnytska’s daughter denied the suggestion that the relationship was anything but professional.[340] Gaddafi frequently made sexual advances on female journalists, and successfully bedded a few in exchange for interviews.[341][342]

Gaddafi made very particular requests when traveling to foreign nations. During his trips to Rome, Paris, Moscow, and New York,[343][344][345][346][347] he resided in a tent, following his Bedouin traditions.[348][349] While in Italy, he paid a modeling agency to find 200 young Italian women for a lecture he gave urging them to convert to Islam.[350] According to a 2009 document release by WikiLeaks,[351] Gaddafi disliked flying over waters and refused to take airplane trips longer than 8 hours. His inner circle stated that he could only stay on the ground floor of buildings, and that he could not climb more than 35 steps.

The Libyan postal service, General Posts and Telecommunications Company (GPTC), has issued numerous stamps, souvenir sheetspostal stationery, booklets, etc. relating to Gaddafi.[352][353]

Transliteration of his Arabic name

Because of the lack of standardization of transliterating written and regionally pronounced Arabic, Gaddafi’s name has been romanized in many different ways. Even though the Arabic spelling of a word does not change, the pronunciation may vary in different varieties of Arabic, which may suggest a different romanization. In Literary Arabic, the name مُعَمَّر القَذَّافِي can be pronounced /muˈʕammaru lqaðˈðaːfiː/. Geminated consonants can be simplified. In Libyan Arabic, /q/ (ق) is replaced with [ɡ]; and /ð/ (ذ), as “th” in “this”, is replaced with [d]. Vowel [u] often alternates with [o] in pronunciation in other regions. Thus, /muˈʕammar alqaðˈðaːfiː/ is normally pronounced in Libyan Arabic [muˈʕæmmɑrˤ əlɡædˈdæːfi]. The definite article al- (ال) is often omitted.

“Muammar Gaddafi” is the spelling used by TimeNewsweekReutersBBC News, the majority of the British press, and the English service of Al-Jazeera[354]. The Associated PressMSNBCCNN,NPRPBS, and the majority of the Canadian press use “Moammar Gadhafi”. The Library of Congress uses “Qaddafi, Muammar” as the primary name. The Edinburgh Middle East Report uses “Mu’ammar Qaddafi” and the U.S. Department of State uses “Mu’ammar Al-Qadhafi”, although the White House chooses to use “Muammar el-Qaddafi”.[355] The Xinhua News Agency uses “Muammar Khaddafi” in its English reports.[356] The New York Times uses “Muammar el-Qaddafi”. The Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times of the Tribune Company, and Agence France-Presse use “Moammar Kadafi”.[357][358]

In 1986, Gaddafi reportedly responded to a Minnesota school’s letter in English using the spelling “Moammar El-Gadhafi”.[359] Until that point, his name had been pronounced with an initial ‘k’ in English.

The title of the homepage of algathafi.org reads “Welcome to the official site of Muammar Al Gathafi”.[360] A 2007 interview with Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi confirms that he uses the spelling “Qadhafi”,[361] and Muhammad Gaddafi‘s official passport uses the spelling “Al-Gathafi”.[362]

An article published in the London Evening Standard in 2004 lists a total of 37 spellings of his name, while a 1986 column by The Straight Dope quotes a list of 32 spellings known from the Library of Congress.[363] ABC and MSNBC identified 112 possible spellings.[364][365] This extensive confusion of naming was used as the subject of a segment of Saturday Night LiveWeekend Update on 12 December 1981.[366] In short, the alternative spellings for each part of his name are shown in brackets:

{\color{OliveGreen}\text{M}<br /><br /><br />
\begin{cases}\text{u}\\\text{o}\\\text{ou}\end{cases}<br /><br /><br />
\begin{cases}\varnothing\\\text{'}\end{cases}<br /><br /><br />
\begin{cases}\varnothing\\\text{a}\end{cases}<br /><br /><br />
\begin{cases}\text{mm}\\\text{m}\end{cases}<br /><br /><br />
\text{a}<br /><br /><br />
\text{r}}<br /><br /><br />
~~~~<br /><br /><br />
{\color{MidnightBlue}\begin{cases}\text{Al}\\\text{al}\\\text{El}\\\text{el}\\\varnothing\end{cases}<br /><br /><br />
\begin{cases}\text{-}\\\textvisiblespace\\\varnothing\end{cases}}<br /><br /><br />
{\color{RedViolet}\begin{cases}\text{Q}\\\text{G}\\\text{K}\\\text{Kh}\end{cases}<br /><br /><br />
\text{a}<br /><br /><br />
\begin{cases}\text{d}\\\text{dh}\\\text{dd}\\\text{dhdh}\\\text{th}\\\text{zz}\end{cases}<br /><br /><br />
\text{a}<br /><br /><br />
\begin{cases}\text{f}\\\text{ff}\end{cases}<br /><br /><br />
\begin{cases}\text{i}\\\text{y}\end{cases}}Not all are possible, as some alternatives are most probably combined with others, or even impossible with others (for example, simplification of geminated /mm/ usually implies simplification of /aː/).

The Arabic verb قَذَفَ qaðafa has various meanings centering on “he threw”.

DEATH OF A BARBARIC TYRANT BY EQUALLY BARBARIC MOB …WARNING VERY GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING !!!!!!!!


A HISTORIC MOMENT IN HISTORY AS THE BARBARIC TYRANT AND LIBYAN DICTATOR – COLONEL MUAMMUR GADDAFI IS KILLED BY HIS OWN PEOPLE AND HIS BODY IS PUT ON DISPLAY FOR ALL THE WORLD TO SEE .

RIGHT OR WRONG??? ….. YOU DECIDE FOR YOURSELVES !!!!!

BELOW IS A SLIDESHOW OF VARIOUS IMAGES , SOME GROTESQUE , SHOWING GADDAFI  AT THE HEIGHT OF HIS POWER AND ALSO  HIS SLAIN   BODY  FOR ALL TO SEE AND PHOTOGRAPH..

.WARNING VERY GRAPHIC AND GRUESOME  !!!!!!!!!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

.WARNING VERY GRAPHIC AND GRUESOME  !!!!!!!!!

BELOW IS A SEQUENCE OF VERY GRAPHIC, DISTURBING AND GRUESOME VIDEO FOOTAGE ON THE DEATH OF GADDAFI 

1960’s SLEAZE AND SCANDAL REVISITED HERE AT THE JAIL-THE PROFUMO AFFAIR

‎1960’S REVISITED AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL – CHRISTINE KEELER & THE PROFUMO AFFAIR
Our many diverse collections here also includes an insight into our endless array of Politicians behaving badly, caught with their trousers down and of course as always …apparently on the fiddle with their expenses etc.
On display here we have various personally signed ephemera , memorabilia etc pieced together within an intriguing montage from the likes of John Profumo, Christine Keeler , Mandy Rice-Davies and Stephan Ward .

See more interactive video footage below relating to one of Britain’s most infamous scandals

Profumo Affair

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Profumo Affair was a 1963 British political scandal named after John ProfumoSecretary of State for War. His affair with Christine Keeler, the reputed mistress of an alleged Russian spy, followed by lying in the House of Commons when he was questioned about it, forced the resignation of Profumo and damaged the reputation of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan‘s government. Macmillan himself resigned a few months later due to ill health.

Profumo’s relationship with Keeler

Christine Keeler—the iconic Lewis Morley image, taken in May 1963, became an instant national talking point when a stolen copy was published by the Sunday Mirror, adding yet more fuel to the fire under Profumo. As the scandal intensified, it was endlessly republished.[1]

In the early 1960s, Profumo was the Secretary of State for War in Harold Macmillan‘s Conservative government and was married to actress Valerie Hobson. In 1961, Profumo met Christine Keeler, a London call girl,[2] at a house party at Cliveden, the Buckinghamshire mansion owned by Lord Astor. Many years later Profumo would claim, in discussion with his son, David, that he had met Keeler previously at a night club in London called Murray’s and “probably had a drink with her.”[3] Also present at the Cliveden party were Profumo’s wife and the fashionable osteopath, Dr Stephen Ward, a long-standing acquaintance of Keeler. The relationship with Keeler lasted only a few weeks before Profumo ended it. However, rumours about the affair became public in 1962, as did the allegation that Keeler had also had a relationship with Yevgeny “Eugene” Ivanov, a senior naval attaché at the Soviet embassy in London. Given Profumo’s position in the government and with the Cold War at its height, the potential ramifications in terms of national security were grave, and this, along with the adulterous nature of Profumo’s relationship with Keeler, quickly elevated the affair into a public scandal.

Exposure of the affair

In 1962, Keeler became involved in an altercation with her former live-in lover Johnny Edgecombe. When she announced the end of their relationship, a confrontation followed 10 days before Christmas 1962. Edgecombe attempted to force his way into Stephen Ward’s flat where Keeler was staying and fired several shots at the doorlock. Meanwhile, Keeler had become involved with a Jamaican drug dealer named Aloysius “Lucky” Gordon. When that relationship ended Gordon attacked her with an axe and held her hostage for two days. Keeler turned to Edgecombe for help and in the ensuing fight between him and Gordon, the latter received a knife wound to his face. Fearful of reprisals from Gordon, Edgecombe asked Keeler to help him find a solicitor so that he could turn himself in. She refused and instead told him that she intended to give evidence against Edgecombe in court for wounding Gordon. As a result of her refusal, Edgecombe hatched a plot to murder Keeler. Three months later, when she failed to turn up in court for Edgecombe’s trial, previous press suspicions boiled over and the affair became front page news with headlines like “WAR MINISTER SHOCK”.[4]

Announcement in Parliament

In March 1963, Profumo stated to the House of Commons that there was “no impropriety whatever” in his relationship with Keeler and that he would issue writs for libel and slander if the allegations were repeated outside the House.[5] (Within the House, such allegations are protected by Parliamentary privilege.) However, in June, Profumo confessed that he had misled the House and lied in his testimony and on 5 June, he resigned his Cabinet position, as well as his Privy Council and Parliamentary membership.

Peter Wright, in his autobiography Spycatcher,[6] relates that he was working at the British counter-intelligence agency MI5 at the time and was assigned to question Keeler on security matters. He conducted a fairly lengthy interview and found Keeler to be poorly educated and not well informed on current events, very much the “party girl” described in the press at the time. However, in the course of questioning her, the subject of nuclear missiles came up, and Keeler, on her own, used the term “nuclear payload” in relation to the missiles. This alerted Wright’s suspicions. According to Wright, in the very early 1960s in Britain, the term “nuclear payload” was not in general use by the public, and even among those who kept up with such things, the term was not commonly heard. For a young woman with such limited knowledge to casually use the term was more than suspicious. In fact, Wright came away convinced that at the very least there had been an attempt by the Soviet attaché (perhaps through Stephen Ward) to use Keeler to get classified information from Profumo.

Lord Denning released the government’s official report on 25 September 1963, and, one month later, the prime ministerHarold Macmillan, resigned on the grounds of ill health, which had apparently been exacerbated by the scandal. He was replaced by the Foreign Secretary, the Earl of Home, who renounced his title to become Sir Alec Douglas-Home. However, the change of leader failed to save the Conservative Party’s place in government; they lost the general election to Harold Wilson’s Labour a year later.

Stephen Ward was prosecuted for living on the immoral earnings of prostitution and he committed suicide in August. He was defended by James Burge QC (who was later the basis for John Mortimer‘s character Rumpole of the Bailey). Keeler was found guilty on unrelated perjury charges and was sentenced to nine months in prison.[7] Profumo died on 9 March 2006.

The Profumo Affair in film and theatre

The relationship between a senior politician and a prostitute[2] caught the public imagination and led to the release of a number of films and documentaries detailing the event. The Danish film The Keeler Affair[8] was released in 1963 followed in 1989 by the British film Scandal. The musical A Model Girl premiered at The Greenwich Theatre on 30 January 2007.[9] In theatre Hugh Whitemore‘s playA Letter of Resignation, first staged at the Comedy Theatre in October 1997, dramatises the occasion when Harold Macmillan, staying with friends in Scotland, received a political bombshell, a letter of resignation from Profumo, his war minister. Edward Fox portrayed Macmillan. [10][11]

The Profumo Affair in popular music

INTRIGUING DOCUMENTARY INSIGHT INTO THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE NOTORIOUS KRAYS

TRUE CRIME AND MUCH MORE HERE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION  AT  LITTLEDEAN JAIL , ROYAL FOREST OF DEAN , GLOUCESTERSHIRE , UK ……

INCLUDES PERSONAL ITEMS , ARTWORK, HANDWRITTEN LETTERS AND TOOLS OF THE TRADE FROM THE KRAY TWINS AND THEIR FIRM

DO COME VISIT AND SEE FOR YOURSELVES THE UK’S ONLY BLACK MUSEUM OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

RONNIE AND REGGIE KRAY

Kray twins

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kray Twins:
Ronald & Reginald Kray

The Kray twins, Reginald (left) and Ronald (right), photographed by David Bailey
Born 24 October 1933 (both)
Hoxton, London, England
Died Ronnie:
17 March 1995 (aged 61)
Broadmoor Hospital, Slough, England
Reggie:
1 October 2000 (aged 66)
Norwich, Norfolk, England
Alias(es) Ronnie & Reggie
Charge(s) Murders of George Cornell and Jack “The Hat” McVitie
Penalty In 1969 both were sentenced to life imprisonment, with a non-parole period of thirty years.
Status Both deceased
Occupation Gangsters and club owners
Spouse Reggie:
Frances Shea (m. 1965–1967)
(her death)
Roberta Jones (m. 1997–2000)
(his death)[1][2]
Ronnie:
Elaine Mildener (m. 1985–1989)
(divorced)[3]
Kate Howard (m. 1989–1994)
(divorced)[4]
Parents Charles Kray and Violet Lee-Kray

Reginald “Reggie” Kray (24 October 1933 – 1 October 2000) and his twin brother Ronald “Ronnie” Kray (24 October 1933 – 17 March 1995) were the foremost perpetrators of organised crime in London’s East End during the 1950s and 1960s. Ronald, commonly referred to as Ron or Ronnie, most likely suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.[5] The Krays were involved in armed robberies, arson, protection rackets, violent assaults including tortureand the murders of Jack “The Hat” McVitie and George Cornell. As West End nightclub owners, they mixed with prominent entertainers including Diana DorsFrank SinatraJudy Garland and politicians. The Krays were highly feared within their social environment, and in the 1960s they became celebrities in their own right, being photographed by David Bailey and interviewed on television. They were arrested on 9 May 1968 and convicted in 1969 by the efforts of a squad of detectives led by Detective Superintendent Leonard “Nipper” Read, and were both sentenced to life imprisonment.

Ronnie remained in Broadmoor Hospital until his death on 17 March 1995, but Reggie was released from prison on compassionate grounds in August 2000, eight weeks before his death in October from cancer.

Ronnie and Reggie Kray were born on 24 October 1933 in Hoxton, East London, to Charles David “Charlie” Kray, Sr, (10 March 1907 – 8 March 1983), a scrap gold dealer, and Violet Lee (5 August 1909 – 4 August 1982).[6] Reggie was born roughly 10 minutes before twin Ronnie. Charlie and Violet already had a six-year old son, Charlie Jr, (9 July 1926 – 4 Apr 2000).[7] A sister, Violet, born 1929, died in infancy. When the twins were three years old, they were struck down with diphtheria and recovered. Ron almost died from a head injury suffered in a fight with his twin brother in 1942.[edit]Early life

In 1938, having previously lived in Stene Street, Hoxton, the Kray family moved to 178 Vallance Road, Bethnal Green. At the start of the Second World War, Charlie Kray Senior was called up into the army, but went into hiding travelling the country as a trader and avoiding the law.

The twins first attended Wood Close School in Brick Lane and then Daniel Street School.[8] They were always trouble; people who knew them were too scared to say anything.

The influence of their grandfather, Jimmy “Cannonball” Lee,[9] led both boys into amateur boxing, which was at that time a popular pursuit for working-class boys in the East End. An element of rivalry between them spurred them on, and they achieved some success. They are said never to have lost a bout before turning professional at the age of 19.

[edit]National Service

The Kray twins became famous locally for their gang and the mayhem they caused. They narrowly avoided prison several times and in early 1952 they were called up for National Service with the Royal Fusiliers. They deserted several times, each time being recaptured.

While absent without leave, the twins assaulted a police officer who had spotted them and was trying to arrest them. They were initially held at the Tower of London (they were among the very last prisoners ever kept there) before being sent to Shepton Mallet military prison in Somerset and gaoled for a month awaiting court-martial. They ended up being gaoled in the Home Counties Brigade Depot gaol in Canterbury, Kent. Their behaviour there was so bad that in the end they were given a dishonourable discharge from the service; for the last few weeks of their imprisonment, when their fate was a certainty anyway, they tried to dominate the exercise area immediately outside their one man cells. They threw tantrums, upended their latrine bucket over a sergeant, similarly dumped a dixie (a large camp kettle[10]) full of hot tea on a guard, handcuffed another guard to the prison bars with a pair of stolen cuffs, and burned their bedding. Eventually they were discharged, but not before escaping from the guardhouse and being recaptured by the army one last time. The escape was executed when they were moved from a one man cell to a communal cell and they assaulted their guard with a china vase. Still, once recaptured and while awaiting transfer to civilian authority for crimes committed during their most recent period at large, they spent their last night in Canterbury drinking cider, eating crisps, and smoking cigarillos courtesy of the young National Servicemen who were acting as their guards.

[edit]Criminal careers

[edit]Nightclub owners

Their criminal record and dishonourable discharge ended their boxing careers. As a result, the twins turned to crime. They bought a run down local snooker club in Bethnal Green, where they started several protection rackets. By the end of the 1950s, the Krays were involved in hijackingarmed robbery and arson, through which they acquired a few clubs and other properties. In 1960 Ronnie Kray was incarcerated for 18 months on charges of running a protection racket and related threats, and while he was in prison, Peter Rachman, the head of a violent landlord operation, gave Reggie the Esmeralda’s Barn, a nightclub in Knightsbridge. This increased the Krays’ influence in the West End of London, with celebrities and famous people rather than East End criminals. They were assisted by banker Alan Cooper who wanted protection from the Krays’ rivals, the Richardsons, who were based in South London.[11]

The twins then had a turf war with Islington’s then infamous criminal twins, Brendan and Daniel Gallagher.

[edit]Celebrity status

In the 1960s, they were widely seen as prosperous and charming celebrity nightclub owners and were part of the Swinging London scene. A large part of their fame was due to their non-criminal activities as popular figures on the celebrity circuit, being photographed by David Bailey on more than one occasion; and socialised with lordsMPs, socialites and show business characters such as the actors George RaftJudy GarlandDiana DorsBarbara Windsor and singer Frank Sinatra.

“They were the best years of our lives. They called them the swinging sixties. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were rulers of pop music, Carnaby Street ruled the fashion world… and me and my brother ruled London. We were fucking untouchable…” – Ronnie Kray, in his autobiographical book, My Story.[12]

[edit]Lord Boothby and Tom Driberg

The Krays also came into the public eye when an exposé in the tabloid newspaper Sunday Mirror alleged that Ron had had a sexual relationship with Lord Boothby, a UK Conservative Partypolitician.[13] Although no names were printed, Boothby threatened to sue, the newspaper backed down, sacked its editor, apologised, and paid Boothby £40,000 in an out of court settlement.[14] As a result, other newspapers were less willing to uncover the Krays’ connections and criminal activities.

The police investigated the Krays on several occasions, but the twins’ reputation for violence meant witnesses were afraid to come forward to testify. There was also a political problem for both main parties. It was neither in the interests of the Conservative Party to press the police to end the Krays’ power lest the Boothby connection was again publicised and demonstrated, or those of the Labour Party because their MP Tom Driberg was also rumoured to have had a relationship with Ronnie.[15]

[edit]Frank Mitchell

The Blind Beggar pub in 2005

On 12 December 1966 the Krays assisted Frank Mitchell (nicknamed “The Mad Axeman”)[16] (not to be confused with Frankie Fraser – known as “Mad” Frankie Fraser, and contemporaneous, but allied with the rival Richardson gang) in escaping from Dartmoor Prison. Ronnie Kray had befriended Mitchell while they served time together in Wandsworth prison. Mitchell felt the authorities should review his case for parole, so Ronnie felt he would be doing him a favour by getting him out ofDartmoor, highlighting his case in the media and forcing the authorities to act. Once Mitchell was out of Dartmoor, the Krays held him at a friend’s flat in Barking Road. However, as a large man with a mental disorder, he was difficult to deal with and the only course of action was to get rid of him. His body has never been found and the Krays were acquitted of his murder.[16] Freddie Foreman, a former member of The Firm, in his autobiography Respect claimed that Mitchell was shot and the body disposed of at sea.

[edit]George Cornell

Ronnie Kray shot and killed George Cornell in the Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel on 9 March 1966. Ronnie was drinking in another pub when he heard that Cornell was in the Blind Beggar. Taking Reggie’s driver John “Scotch Jack” Dickson and Ian Barrie, his right-hand man, he then killed Cornell. Just before Cornell died, he remarked “Well look who’s here.” There had been a confrontation at Christmas 1965 between the Krays and the Richardsons at the Astor Club, when Cornell, an associate of the Richardsons, referred to Ronnie as a “fat poof“. However, Ronnie denied this and said that the reason for the killing was because he gave him and Reggie threats. The result was a gang war between the two, and Kray associate Richard Hart was murdered at Mr. Smith’s Club in Catford on 8 March 1966. Ronnie avenged Hart’s death by shooting Cornell. “Mad” Frankie Fraser was taken to court for Hart’s murder but was found not guilty. A member of the Richardsons claimed that he saw him kicking Hart. Cornell was the only one to escape from the brawl in top condition so it is likely that Ronnie thought that he was involved in the murder. Owing to intimidation, witnesses would not co-operate with the police.[17]

[edit]Jack “the Hat” McVitie

The Krays’ criminal activities continued hidden behind their celebrity status and “legitimate” businesses. In October 1967, four months after the suicide of his wife Frances, Reggie was alleged to have been encouraged by his brother to kill Jack “the Hat” McVitie, a minor member of the Kray gang who had failed to fulfil a £1,500 contract paid to him in advance by the Krays to kill Leslie Payne. McVitie was lured to a basement flat in Evering Road, Stoke Newington on the pretence of a party. As he entered, Reggie Kray pointed a handgun at his head and pulled the trigger twice, but the gun failed to discharge. Ronnie Kray then held McVitie in a bearhug and Reggie Kray was handed a carving knife. He stabbed McVitie in the face and stomach, driving it deep into his neck, twisting the blade, continuing as McVitie lay on the floor dying.[18] Several other members of The Firm including the Lambrianou brothers (Tony and Chris) were convicted of this. In Tony’s biography, he claims that when Reggie was stabbing Jack, his liver came out and he had to flush it down the toilet. McVitie’s body has never been recovered.

[edit]Arrest and trial

When Inspector Leonard “Nipper” Read of Scotland Yard was promoted to the Murder Squad, his first assignment was to bring down the Kray twins. It was not his first involvement with Reg and Ron; during the first half of 1964 Read had been investigating their activities, but publicity and official denials surrounding allegations of Ron’s relationship with Boothby had made the evidence he collected useless. Read tackled the problem of convicting the twins with renewed activity in 1967, but frequently came up against the East End “wall of silence”, which discouraged anyone from providing information to the police.[citation needed]

Nevertheless, by the end of 1967 Read had built up evidence against the Krays. There were witness statements incriminating them, as well as other evidence, but none added up to a convincing case on any one charge.

Early in 1968 the twins used a man named Alan Bruce Cooper who hired and sent Paul Elvey to Glasgow to buy explosives for rigging a car bomb. Elvey was the radio engineer who put Radio Sutch, later renamed Radio City on the air in 1964. Police detained him in Scotland and he confessed he had been involved in three botched murder attempts. However, this evidence was weakened by Cooper, who claimed to be an agent for the United States Treasury Department investigating links between the American mafia and the Kray gang. The botched murders were his work, in an attempt to pin something on the Krays. Read tried using Cooper, who was also being employed as a source by one of Read’s superior officers, as a trap for Ron and Reg, but they stayed away from him. See pages 215–222 and pages 250 and 279 of ‘Nipper Read, the man who Nicked the Krays’, by Leonard Read with James Morton. Time-Warner paperbacks, London, 1992. ISBN 0-7515-3175-8.

[edit]Conviction and imprisonment

Eventually, a Scotland Yard conference decided to arrest the Krays on the evidence already collected, in the hope that other witnesses would be forthcoming once the Krays were in custody. On 8 May 1968,[19] the Krays and 15 other members of their “firm” were arrested. Many witnesses came forward now that the Krays’ reign of intimidation was over, and it was relatively easy to gain a conviction. The Krays and 14 others were convicted, with one member of the firm being acquitted. One of the firm members that provided a lot of the information to the police was arrested yet only for a short period. Out of the 17 official firm members, 16 were arrested and convicted. The twins’ defence, under their counsel John Platts-MillsQC, consisted of flat denials of all charges and the discrediting of witnesses by pointing out their criminal past. The judge, Mr Justice Melford Stevenson said: “In my view, society has earned a rest from your activities.”[20] Both were sentenced to life imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 30 years for the murders of Cornell and McVitie, the longest sentences ever passed at the Old Bailey (Central Criminal Court, London) for murder.[21] Their brother Charlie was jailed for 10 years for his part in the murders.

[edit]Imprisonment

On 11 August 1982, under tight security, Ronnie and Reggie Kray were allowed to attend the funeral of their mother Violet, who had died of cancer the week before, but they were not allowed to attend the graveside service at Chingford Mount cemetery in East London where their mother was interred in the Kray family plot. The service was attended by celebrities including Diana Dors and underworld figures known to the Krays.[22] The twins did not ask to attend their father’s funeral when he died seven months later in March 1983: this was to avoid the publicity that had surrounded their mother’s funeral.

Ronnie was eventually once more certified insane and lived the remainder of his life in Broadmoor HospitalCrowthorne, dying on 17 March 1995 of a massive heart attack, aged 61. His funeral on 29 March 1995 was a huge event with people lining the streets.

Reggie Kray was a Category A prisoner, denied almost all liberties and not allowed to mix with other prisoners. However, in his later years, he was downgraded to Category C and transferred toNorfolk‘s Wayland Prison.

In 1985, officials at Broadmoor Hospital discovered a business card of Ron’s, which prompted an investigation that revealed the twins – incarcerated at separate institutions – along with their older brother, Charlie, and another accomplice who was not in prison, were operating a “lucrative bodyguard and ‘protection’ business for Hollywood stars”. Documents released under Freedom of Information laws revealed that officials were concerned about this operation, called Krayleigh Enterprises, but believed there was no legal basis to shut it down. Documentation of the investigation reveals Frank Sinatra hired 18 bodyguards from Krayleigh Enterprises in 1985.[23]

During incarceration, Reggie became a born again Christian. After serving more than the recommended 30 years he was sentenced to in March 1969, he was finally freed from Wayland on 26 August 2000, at almost 67-years-old. He was released on compassionate grounds as a result of having inoperable bladder cancer.[24] The final weeks of his life were spent with his wife Roberta, whom he had married while in Maidstone prison in July 1997, in a suite at the Townhouse Hotel at Norwich, having left Norwich hospital on 22 September 2000. On 1 October 2000, Reggie Kray died in his sleep. Ten days later, he was buried alongside his brother Ronnie, in Chingford cemetery.

Elder brother Charlie Kray was released in 1975 after serving seven years, but returned to prison in 1997 for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine worth £69m in an undercover drugs sting. He died of natural causes in prison on 4 April 2000, six months before Reggie’s death.[25]

[edit]Personal lives

Despite negative cultural attitudes of the time, Ronnie was openly bisexual, evidenced by his book My Story and a confession to writer Robin McGibbon on The Kray Tapes where he states, “I’m bisexual, not gay. Bisexual.” He also planned on marrying a lady called Monica in the 1960s but was arrested before he had the chance. This is mentioned in Reggie’s book Born Fighter.[26] Reggie once had a one night stand with Barbara Windsor,[27][28] whose EastEnders character Peggy Mitchell was reputedly based on Violet Kray (e.g. her matriarchy over two thuggish sons)[citation needed].

In an interview with author John Pearson, Ronnie indicated a strong identification with Gordon of Khartoum, explaining: “Gordon was like me, ‘omosexual, and he met his death like a man. When it’s time for me to go, I hope I do the same.”[29]

[edit]Controversies

This section contains weasel words: vague phrasing that often accompanies biased or unverifiable information. Such statements should be clarified or removed(January 2011)

Some[who?] believe the Krays’ sentences were harsher than deserved and that they were made an example of.[30] The Kray twins were tried as separate, responsible adults, although it was argued[by whom?] that Ronnie dominated his brother and was a paranoid schizophrenic.[5]

There was a long-running campaign, with some minor celebrity support, to have the twins released from prison, but successive Home Secretaries vetoed the idea, largely on the grounds that the Krays’ prison records were both marred by violence towards other inmates. The campaign gathered momentum after the release of a film based on their lives called The Krays in 1990. Produced by Ray Burdis, it starred ex-members of Spandau Ballet brothers Martin Kemp, who played the role of Reggie, and Gary Kemp, who played Ronnie.

Some[who?] argue that Reggie’s several attempted murders, and the murder of Jack McVitie, were carried out as a result of Ronnie’s prompting, and to show that he was equal to Ronnie’s earlier murders. Reggie wrote: “I seem to have walked a double path most of my life. Perhaps an extra step in one of those directions might have seen me celebrated rather than notorious.”[31] Others, however, point to Reggie’s violent prison record when he was being detained separately from Ronnie and argue that in reality, the twins’ temperaments were little different.

Reggie’s marriage to Frances Shea in 1965 lasted eight weeks, although the marriage was never formally dissolved. An inquest came to the conclusion that she committed suicide in 1967,[32] but in 2002 an ex lover of Reggie Kray came forward to allege that Frances was actually murdered by a jealous Ronnie. Bradley Allardyce spent three years in Maidstone prison with Reggie and explained, “I was sitting in my cell with Reg and it was one of those nights where we turned the lights down low and put some nice music on and sometimes he would reminisce. He would get really deep and open up to me. He suddenly broke down and said ‘I’m going to tell you something I’ve only ever told two people and something I’ve carried around with me’ – something that had been a black hole since the day he found out. He put his head on my shoulder and told me Ronnie killed Frances. He told Reggie what he had done two days after.”[33]

When Ronnie spent three years in prison, Reggie is said to have turned the “firm” around, putting it on a sound financial footing, and removing many of the more violent and less appealing aspects, if not actually turning it legal. Some[who?] speculate that without his brother, Reggie could have turned the “firm” into one of the largest and most successful criminal organisations in Europe; however, the Kray business was always built on their reputation for savage violence, and it was Ronnie who was principally responsible. The twins were never able to cope well apart.[citation needed]

In 2009 a British television documentary, the Gangster and the Pervert Peer, was aired which revealed that Ronnie Kray was in fact a male rapist (commonly referred to in criminal circles as a “nonce case”). The programme also went on to detail his relationship with Tory Lord Bob Boothby as well as an ongoing Daily Mirror investigation into Lord Boothby’s dealings with the Kray brothers. [2]

[edit]In popular culture

This “In popular culture” section may contain minor or trivial references. Please reorganize this content to explain the subject’s impact on popular culture rather than simply listing appearances, and remove trivial references. (August 2011)

[edit]In film

  • Performance (1970), directed by Nicolas Roeg, featured a London gangster named Harry Flowers (played by Johnny Shannon) who surrounded himself with muscle magazines and rent boys; the character and his milieu were inspired by Ronnie Kray.
  • Villain (1971) starred Richard Burton as sadistic, homosexual London gang leader Vic Dakin, a character modelled on Ronnie Kray.
  • The Long Good Friday (1980) used the Kray Twins as inspiration for the protagonist Harold ShandBob Hoskins, who played Shand, reportedly received a letter from the Krays in prison congratulating him on his presentation of a London gangster in the film.

[edit]In literature

Many books address the Kray brothers’ reign including several written by one or both twins. Those most critically acclaimed include:

[edit]Books by the Kray brothers

[edit]Books by other authors

  • The Kray twins are mentioned frequently in Jake Arnott‘s first novel, The Long Firm (1999), wherein the main character, Harry Starks, is a fictional homosexual East End gangster in the 1960s who has a criminal career similar to the Krays’.
  • Carol Ann Duffy has written a poem entitled “The Kray Sisters”, in which she changes the story of the Kray twins into a women’s format. There are clear links to the original story, with characters in the poem such as “Cannonball Vi”, a clear mix of the twins’ grandfather and mother.
  • The Balvak Twins, who like the Krays, run organised crime in the West End, are recurring antagonists for Detective Sergeant Suzie Mountford in a series of police procedural novels by John Gardner. However, the Balvaks’ activities take place during World War II rather than the 1960s.
  • The Kray twins are mentioned in the second part of Tu Rostro Mañana, a novel by Javier Marías. One of the characters refers to them in order to explain why he carries a sword in his overcoat.
  • The Cult of Violence: The Untold Story of the Krays, by John Pearson (2002) – ISBN 0752847-94-5
  • The Profession of Violence: Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins, by John Pearson – First published in 1972 by Weidenfeld and Nicolson
  • In J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series, the main villain, Lord Voldemort is so feared that most wizards and witches refer to him as “You-Know-Who” or “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”. According to Rowling, this was inspired by the Kray twins’ very names being taboo.[35]
  • The Kray twins feature many times in Addict by Stephen Smith, a book about Smith’s struggle with drugs.
  • Charlie Bronson, “Britain’s Most Violent Prisoner”, became a trusted friend of the Kray twins in prison and wrote The Krays and Me: Blood, Honour and Respect. Doing Porridge With the Krays. He also included a poem about the Krays on the last page of his workout book Solitary Fitness.
  • Ghoul by Michael Slade makes many references to the Kray twins as British police officers struggle to solve a slew of homocides in London.

[edit]In music

A number of artists mention the Kray twins in songs:

[edit]In radio

  • In episode 3 of the sixth series of Old Harry’s Game, titled “Murderers”, the Kray twins are part of a symposium of murderers called together by Satan in order to get some insight into a murderer’s mindset. In an unwise moment of anger, Thomas Crimp calls Ronnie a “big Cockney poof”, which begins an attack on Crimp by the Krays and turns into a free-for-all fight forcing Satan to call for back-up.

[edit]In television

  • Ronnie Kray had a mention in series 2, episode 6 of The Armstrong and Miller Show in the song, “When You’re Gay”.
  • The Comic Strip team did their take on the Krays with Alexei Sayle in the role of both twins as the Moss Brothers, Carl and Sterling, in Didn’t You Kill My Brother?
  • The long-running TV drama EastEnders has featured a gangland organisation called The Firm. The characters Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell are modelled on The Krays, hence their names. As Reggie is a male name, it was changed to Roxy for the EastEnders role of one of the Mitchell sisters.
  • Kate Kray – the ex-wife of Ronnie Kray – showed the glamorous yet restricted lives of women who married gangsters in the documentary Gangsters’ Wives.
  • The time-travelling hero of Goodnight Sweetheart has several passing encounters with the Kray twins as children in East-End London of the 1940s.
  • In episode 3 of the second series of the BBC programme Monkey Dust, a minor character who frequently marries criminals, has her surnames read out in a marriage ceremony to Ivan Dobsky. Two of these surnames are “Kray” (among surnames of other infamous criminals).
  • The Krays were the inspiration behind the Monty Python “Piranha Brothers” sketch. This sketch was rooted in fact; even the tale of nailing someone to the floor is based on the murder of Jack “the Hat” McVitie, who was pinned to the floor with a long knife. Inspector Leonard “Nipper” Read became “Superintendent Harry ‘Snapper’ Organs”.
  • In the TV series Top Gear, during a challenge to decide the best van, each presenter was timed to see how long he would take to be caught by a police car driven by The Stig. Here, James Maywas called James Kray in light of the comical criminal challenge.
  • The British TV series, Waking the Dead, featured a two-parter called “Deathwatch” in which the cold-case detectives investigated a murder related to a pair of East-End gangster brothers from the early 60s called the Suttons, who were clearly based on the Krays: one was described as psychotic and the photos used to depict them were similar to those of the Krays.
  • In 1991, a children’s TV puppet show called The Winjin Pom featured two crow siblings called Ronnie and Reggie (the “Crows”) who were always after the goodies to steal their magical camper van named after the show title, but always failed.
  • Association with (or former association with) the Krays is also seen as a sign of prestige in many social circles, or an indication of Cockney authenticity. This attitude was spoofed in the British television series The Young Ones with Robbie Coltrane as a bouncer claiming “…and I was at Violet’s funeral”, a reference to the twins’ mother.
  • Whitechapel II, a 2010 ITV drama series in which supposed descendants of the Kray twins copy their crimes.[38]
  • Hale and Pace, a UK comedy double act, regularly performs as ‘The Management’ where they dress in the black suit and tie style of bouncers. Their conversations are delivered in a monotone stereotypical East London gangster accent. Throughout the dialogue they both refer to each other as ‘Ron’.
  • On the Final episode of The Inbetweeners, Jay tells simon that his dad is playing Poker with Danny Dyer and The Krays, which Will says Aren’t The Krays dead.
  • Reginald Kray was mentioned in “Russell Brand’s Ponderland S02E03 Education” in a joke as comparison to a school truant’s mother.
  • In Only Fools And Horses the Driscall brothers are portraited as the Kray twins.

[edit]In theatre

  • Peter Straughan‘s play, Bones, features a character who claims to be Reggie Kray and begins to heavily influence the actions of the other characters.

[edit]In video games

  • In The Getaway, a gangster named Charlie Jolson says that he used to run London “with real men like Ronnie and Reggie”.
  • In The Getaway: Black Monday Danny introduces Arthur, the cleaner of the operation, saying “He used to work for the Krays ya know.”
  • Grand Theft Auto Mission Pack #1: London, 1969 features a pair of twin gangsters named Albert and Archie Crisp who are a reference to the Kray twins.
  • Privateer 2: The Darkening features a mission in which the player has to deal with a pair of gangsters named the Bray Twins.

[edit]In science and engineering

For many years the British Met Office in Bracknell ran a pair of Cray-1 supercomputers named Ronnie and Reggie.[39]

FOR GOODNESS SAKE …LET MICHAEL JACKSON REST IN PEACE

MICHAEL JACKSON BEING RUSHED FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO HOSPITAL  ON JUNE 25TH 2009 AFTER COLLAPSING

He didn’t even have time to close his eyes: The final indignity for Jacko as jury at doctor’s trial sees shocking deathbed picture

 

  • Jackson’s personal physician Dr Conrad Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter
  • Prosecutor shows jury photo of singer on gurney after his death and plays disturbing audio of him slurring a month before death
  • Accuses Dr Murray of delaying call to 911 as he tries to revive Jackson
  • Defence claims that Jackson killed himself
  • First witness, choreographer Kenny Ortega, says Jackson ‘wasn’t right’ during rehearsals
  • Tour manager Paul Gongaware says Dr Murray initially demanded $5million a year to care for performer
  • Jackson’s parents and siblings Janet, La Toya, Tito, Randy and Jermaine in court
  • Woman stopped as she rushes towards Dr Murray in courthouse corridor
  • Millions around the world expected to watch trial

 

 

The highly anticipated trial into the death of Michael Jackson opened with an extraordinary moment yesterday as the prosecutor started his opening remarks by displaying a photo of the singer’s dead body.

As Dr Conrad Murray appeared before the jury charged with involuntary manslaughter over Jackson’s death more than two years ago, deputy district attorney David Walgren displayed the picture that appeared to show tape or tubing over Jackson’s face.

But the doctor’s attorney Ed Chernoff told the jury it was the singer who caused his own death by swallowing a ‘perfect storm’ of drugs.

‘He died so fast he did not even have time to close his eyes.’ he said.

Outside the Los Angeles courthouse, fans of the King of Pop faced supporters of Dr Murray waving placards and banners at each other and passers-by. Inside, the whole Jackson family made their way into court for what has been billed as the trial of the century.

 

This photo of Michael Jackson stretched out on a gurney was shown to the jury on the opening day of the trial. His personal physician, Dr Conrad Murray, is charged with involuntary manslaughter

This photo of Michael Jackson stretched out on a gurney was shown to the jury on the opening day of the trial. His personal physician, Dr Conrad Murray, is charged with involuntary manslaughter

Landmark trial: Dr Conrad Murray, right, is charged with the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson
Landmark trial: Dr Conrad Murray, right, is charged with the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson

The trial of Dr Murray, right, will be followed by millions around the globe and TV bosses are expecting the biggest ever ratings for a court hearing

Later, the prosecution played a tape of a healthy-looking Jackson giving his last ever performance – a rehearsal of his hit Earth Song – recorded a day before he died.

The lights in the courtroom were turned off and the singer was shown on a screen performing the track at rehearsals at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, just hours before he passed away.

Jackson’s mother appeared to be in tears watching the clip.

 

‘Michael Jackson’s death was a homicide,’ Los Angeles deputy district attorney David Walgren told the jury in opening statements.

‘The evidence will show that Michael Jackson literally put his life in the hands of Conrad Murray… Michael Jackson trusted his life to the medical skills of Conrad Murray.

‘The evidence will show that misplaced trust had far too high a price to pay… it cost Michael Jackson his life.’

But Dr Murray’s defence attorney Mr Chernoff told the jury that the singer caused his own death.

Dr Murray wiped tears from his eyes as Mr Chernoff said that the evidence will show that the singer swallowed eight, 2mg pills of Lorazepam and injected himself with a dose of propofol.

This ‘created a perfect storm in his body that killed him instantly,’ Mr Chernoff said.

Mr Chernoff said that Jackson, who was frustrated because he could not sleep and frustrated because his doctor refused to give him a drug that he wanted, ‘did an act that caused his own death’.

Emotional: The prosecution showed the court Jackson's last performance, a rehearsal of Earth Song, which appeared to bring his mother to tearsEmotional: The prosecution showed the court Jackson’s last performance, a rehearsal of Earth Song, which appeared to bring his mother to tears

Comparison: Prosecutors showed pictures of the singer before and after his death on June 25 2009Comparison: Prosecutors showed pictures of the singer before and after his death on June 25 2009

Visibly upset: Dr Murray breaks down and has to wipe away tears with a tissue as his defence attorney speaksVisibly upset: Dr Murray breaks down and has to wipe away tears with a tissue as his defence attorney speaks

Hearing: Dr Murray sits in the courtroom as he hears evidence in his involuntary manslaughter trial
Hearing: Dr Murray sits in the courtroom as he hears evidence in his involuntary manslaughter trial

Hearing: Dr Murray sits in the courtroom as he hears the evidence put forward in his trial

Disturbing audio: The prosecutor played Michael Jackson slurring and rambling over a month before his deathDisturbing audio: The prosecutor played a recording taken from Dr Murray’s iPhone of the singer slurring and rambling over a month before his death

DR MURRAY’S DEFENCE MISSPELL MICHAEL JACKSON’S NAME

Enlarge Michael JacksonAs Dr Murray’s defence attorney presented his opening statement, he put up a poster board with Michael Jackson’s name misspelt.

‘How did Micheal Jackson get to this point?’ read the first question on the chart shown behind Ed Chernoff.

The prosecution also made their own spelling mistake on the opening day of the trial. On a slide the word ‘pronounced’ was spelt without the second ‘n’.

‘He died so fast he did not even have time to close his eyes.’ Mr Chernoff said.

Jackson’s parents, his siblings Janet, La Toya, Tito, Randy and Jermaine were all at the courthouse in LA for the opening statements in the trial of the singer’s personal physician, who was the last person to see him alive.

In the prosecution’s opening statements, Mr Walgren insisted that the evidence will show that the ‘acts and omissions of Michael Jackson’s personal doctor Conrad Murray directly led to his premature death at the age of 50’.

Murray ‘repeatedly acted with gross negilience, repeatedly denied appropriate care to his patient Michael Jackson and that is was Dr Murray’s repeated incompetent and unskilled acts that led to Michael Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009,’ Mr Walgren said.

The prosecutor played disturbing audio recorded on Dr Murray’s iPhone of Jackson apparently under the influence of propofol a month before his death.

On the tape, Jackson sounded slurred and confused as he mumbled: ‘We have to be phenomenal… When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, “I’ve never seen nothing like this in my life. Go. Go.”‘

Mr Walgren said the audio was evidence that Dr Murray knew what was happening to Jackson and should have discontinued ordering propofol.

Resting place: The bed where the singer was found deadResting place: The bed where the singer was found dead

Protests: Demonstrators gather outside Los Angeles Superior Court during the opening day of Dr Conrad Murray's trial in the death of pop star Michael JacksonProtests: Demonstrators gather outside Los Angeles Superior Court during the opening day of Dr Murray’s trial in the death of the pop star

Mr Walgren attempted to paint a picture of the days leading up to the singer’s death.

On June 19 ‘Michael showed up for his rehearsal and he was not in good shape, he was not in good shape at all,’ Mr Walgren said.

‘He had chills, he was trembling… he was rambling.’

Kenny Ortega, the choreographer of Jackson’s proposed This Is It tour, expressed concerns about Jackson, but Dr Murray allegedly told him and others that Jackson was ‘physically and emotionally fine’.

‘Don’t let it be your concern, I am the doctor,’ Dr Murray allegedly said.

The prosecutor also laid out the order of events from inside Jackson’s house on the night that he died.

Mr Walgren accused Dr Murray of failing to call 911 as soon as he realised that there was something wrong with Jackson.

Dr Murray listens intently as his trial gets under wayDr Murray listens intently as his trial gets under way

He said that an emergency call was not made until 12:20pm, at least 24 minutes after Dr Murray is believed to have discovered Jackson unconscious.

The prosecutors claimed that phone records showed that Jackson was left unattended for too long.

‘It will be clear that Conrad Murray abandoned Michael when he needed help,’ Mr Walgren said.

‘It was Conrad Murray’s gross negligence, it was Conrad Murray’s unskilled hands and his desire to obtain this lucrative contract of $150,000 a month that led Dr Murray to not only abandon his patient, but to abandon all principles of medical care.’

Singer Janet Jackson and Randy Jackson arrive at the courthouse holding handsSinger Janet Jackson and Randy Jackson arrive at the courthouse holding hands

On trial: Conrad Murray arrives at court in Los Angeles for the first day of his manslaughter trialOn trial: Dr Murray arriving for the first day of the LA hearing

MEDIC WAS ‘ADORED BY JACKSON CHILDREN PRINCE AND PARIS’

He is the man accused of neglecting and killing their father. But Prince Michael and Paris Jackson actually thought that Conrad Murray was a ‘godsend’ who really cared for him, it has been claimed.

It is thought Prince could be called to the stand to give evidence. Sources quoted by U.S. gossip website RadarOnline said the 14 and 13 year-old had a high opinion of Murray before he alleged killed Michael Jackson.

Only later did they change their mind and come to the conclusion he was a bad man. If there is evidence to back this up it could hamper the testimony that the boys reportedly want to give.

‘Prince and Paris adored Murray and thought he was a godsend for their father,’ the source said. ‘It was only after their father’s death that they formed a subsequent opinion of him. Both Prince and Paris could take the stand and wind up providing evidence which supports the doctor.’

Should Prince give evidence he will tell the jury of the moment he saw his father lying dead on his bed as Murray tried to revive him. But he will also be open to cross examination by the doctor’s defence team who could seek to look back at instances in the past where they got on.

Mr Walgren also showed images of Jackson’s bedroom to show how medical monitoring devices typically used when someone is under anesthesia were not there or appeared unused.

A blood pressure cuff was still in a box and an oxygen tank had no oxygen, Mr Walgren said.

But as the defence made their opening statements, Murray wiped away tears as Mr Chernoff described the doctor and Jackson as ‘friends first’.

‘Dr Murray is no celebrity doctor. He is a cardiologist. He literally saves lives. That’s who he is,’ Mr Chernoff said.

He said that on the day he died, Jackson had told Murray that he not slept for 10 hours and that if he did not sleep he would not be able to rehearse and would disappoint his fans.

Dr Murray agreed to give him a 25 mg injection of propofol mixed with lidocaine.

Mr Chernoff said that such a small dose would ‘dissipate in ten minutes’.

He said that the amount found in Jackson’s body, more than 100 mgs, was consistent with major invasive surgery and was administered by Jackson himself.

Jackson ‘self-administered an additional dose of propofol and it killed him like that, there was no way to save him,’ said Mr Chernoff.

His death was a tragedy, he added, but Murray is not responsible. Murray is ‘not perfect… but in this criminal court, we believe he is not guilty,’ he added.

The evidence:

  • Choreographer Kenny Ortega says Jackson ‘wasn’t right’ at rehearsals
'Not stable': Choreographer Kenny Ortega said Jackson was not right physically or mentally‘Not stable’: Choreographer Kenny Ortega told the court Jackson was not right physically or mentally a week before his death

Jackson’s choreographer and friend Kenny Ortega, the first witness called, testified that the singer was in bad shape physically and mentally less than a week before his death.

He said he sent an email to Randy Phillips, producer of the ‘This Is It’ concert, telling him that Jackson was ill, should probably have a psychological evaluation and was not ready to perform.

‘It’s important for everyone to know he really wants this,’ he wrote. ‘It would shatter him, break his heart if we pulled the plug. He’s terribly frightened it’s all going to go away.’

In response to the email, said Ortega, a meeting was called at Jackson’s house where Ortega clashed with Murray, who told him to stop playing amateur psychiatrist and doctor.

‘He [Murray] said Michael was physically and emotionally capable of handling all his responsibilities for the show,’ said Ortega. ‘I was shocked. Michael didn’t seem to be physically or emotionally stable.’

Within a few days, he said, Jackson had recouped his energy and was full of enthusiasm for the show.

On June 25, Ortega received a phone call from producer Paul Gongaware saying an ambulance had taken Michael to the hospital.

Gongaware called later and told Ortega: ‘We lost him.’

  • Dr Murray demanded $5million a year to be Jackson’s physician

Paul Gongaware, who was managing Jackson’s This Is It tour, said Dr Murray initially demanded $5million a year to be the singer’s personal physician.

Gongaware, who worked with Jackson on his Dangerous and History tours, told prosecutors the singer made the specific request to have Dr Murray brought on board.

‘He wanted to hire Dr Murray,’ said Gongaware who is AEG Live’s Co-CEO, adding that Jackson called his body a ‘machine’ that needed to be taken care of.

Demands: Tour manager Paul Gongaware said Dr Murray initially wanted $5m to be Jackson's physicianDemands: Tour manager Paul Gongaware said Dr Murray initially wanted $5m to be Jackson’s physician

Gongaware told the court: ‘I didn’t know Dr Murray at all – and we were going to London. My preference would have been to hire someone who was licensed there. Who knew what was going on.

‘I called Dr Murray – to try to make a deal with him. He wanted to do it. I asked him what he wanted. He said that he had four clinics that he had to close, in Houston, Las Vegas, San Diego and Hawaii; that he would have to lay off people – so he said he needed $5million a year to do that.

‘I told him there was no way that was going to happen. Michael couldn’t afford it. I ended the negotiations.’

Jackson then brought up the issue again. His assistant, Michael Amir Williams, called Gongaware to tell him.

‘I heard Michael Jackson in the car saying, “Offer him 150, offer him 150.”‘ Gongaware took that to mean $150,000 a month.

‘I called Dr Murray. I said to him I’m authorised to offer you 150 a month,’ Gongaware said. ‘He said, “No I really couldn’t do it for that”. I cut him off mid-sentence and said, “That offer comes directly from the artist.” Without missing a beat he said, “I’ll take it.”‘

Gongaware also revealed that there were so many fans clamouring for O2 tickets that Jackson could have sold out his 50-concerts in London twice over.

Gongaware said Jackson was initially contracted to play 31 dates at the arena, a number chosen because of his long-time rivalry with the artist Prince.

‘Prince did 21 shows at the O2 and Michael wanted to do ten more,’ said Gongaware.

He said 10 shows were initially put on sale and they ‘sold out instantly.’ The number of concerts was eventually re-contracted for 50.

‘More than  250,000 people were still in the queue after the 50 shows sold out. That would have been enough to sell out another 50 shows.’

  • Tape of Jackson’s slurred and confused words

Prosecutors played an audio recording of the pop superstar slurring his words and talking about his upcoming concerts.

Prosecutor David Walgren told jurors the audio from May 10 2009, over a month before Jackson’s death, was retrieved from Dr Conrad Murray’s cell phone.

Jackson’s voice was unrecognisable on the recording. He was speaking slowly and Walgren described the singer as highly under the influence during the conversation.

It was the first time the audio was disclosed or played in public.

‘We have to be phenomenal… When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, “I’ve never seen nothing like this in my life. Go. Go,”‘ Jackson is heard saying.

‘”It’s amazing. He’s the greatest entertainer in the world. I’m taking the money, a million children, children’s hospital, the biggest in the world, Michael Jackson’s Children’s Hospital,”‘ the singer is heard rambling.

Walgren used the audio to bolster his point that Murray should have known better than to continue giving Jackson the powerful anaesthetic propofol, which was cited as a cause of Jackson’s death.

  • Propofol: ‘The drug that killed Jacko’

Central to the prosecution’s case is that Dr Conrad Murray administered a lethal dose of the drug propofol to Michael Jackson on the night he died and then left the room, during which time the singer stopped breathing.

They charge that Murray gave the star a lethal dose of the sedative, which the singer frequently used as a sleeping aid, calling it his ‘milk’ which he needed for his nightly battle with insomnia. But prosecutor David Walgren told the jury that propofol is ‘not a sleep aid or a sleep agent, it is a general anaesthetic’.

He continued: ‘It’s a wonderful drug if used by someone who knows what he is doing, who knows the dangers as well as the benefits.’ It should under no circumstances be given outside a hospital setting.

Dr Conrad Murray did not mention propofol to emergency room doctors at UCLA Medical Centre when asked what pop star Michael Jackson had been given, according to the prosecution.

Drug: Dr Conrad Murray today starts his trial for the wrongful death of Michael Jackson who died of Acute Propofol intoxicationProsecutors allege that Murray gave the star a lethal dose of the sedative, which the singer frequently used as a sleeping aid, calling it his ¿milk¿ which he needed for his nightly battle with insomnia

In his opening statement, Mr Walgren told the jury that between 6 April, 2009, and the day of Jackson’s death on June 25, Murray ordered enough propofol to give Jackson 1,937 milligrams a day.

The prosecution then focused on the uses and settings for which propoful should be used, noting that it is an ‘improper treatment of insomnia’. Mr Walgren mentions the correct equipment that should be utilised when administering propofol – which is done intravenously – and the complications that can arise when this does not happen.

Testimony: District deputy attorney David Walgren gives his opening statement for the prosecutionDistrict deputy attorney David Walgren gives his opening statement for the prosecution

Defence lawyers claim Murray had been trying to wean Jackson off propofol and gave him only a minimal dosage.

They claim the singer, desperate for sleep, swallowed an additional dose of the drug when his doctor was out of the room.

Their theory is based on evidence that a trace amount of propofol was found in Jackson’s stomach.

Medical witnesses may be asked to explain how it could have been found in his stomach, as ingesting it orally is almost unheard of.

The drug is used to reduce anxiety and tension, and promotes relaxation and sleep or loss of consciousness. Propofol provides loss of awareness for short diagnostic tests and surgical procedures, sleep at the beginning of surgery, and supplements other types of general anaesthetics. Long-term use of the drug can result in addiction. The steep dose-response curve of the drug makes potential misuse very dangerous without proper monitoring.

Side effects of the drug include: difficulty breathing, wheezing, fast heartbeat, palpitations, seizures, uncontrollable muscle spasm and swelling or extreme pain at the injection site.

  • Jackson’s final hours

Prosecutors say that Murray made a number of phone calls between 10:20 and 11:51am the morning of Jackson’s death. He is believed to have discovered the star unconscious at about 11.56am but he did not tell anyone to call 911 until 12.20pm.

During his last phone call – to a cocktail waitress who Murray regarded as his girlfriend – he suddenly became silent and the phone went dead.

‘This is likely the time Conrad Murray first noticed Michael Jackson’s lifeless body,’ prosecutor David Walgren said.

The cocktail waitress made a statement that Murray stopped responding to her and then five minutes later the phone went dead.

Revealed: The court was shown pictures from inside Jackson's home. The centre images shows the last jacket he wore on his bathroom floorThe court was shown pictures from inside Jackson’s home. The central image shows the last jacket he wore lying on his bathroom floor

It was not until 12.12pm that Murray called Jackson’s personal assistant Michael Williams and left a message saying: ‘Call me right away, please. Please call me right away. Thank you.’ When Mr Williams immediately called Murray back he told him: ‘Get here right away Mr Jackson had a bad reaction, he had a bad reaction’, according to prosecutors.

He had yet to call 911 at this point.

Mr Williams then called security guard Albert Alvarez to go and investigate and he said that when he entered Jackson’s room, he was lying on the bed and Dr Murray was administering CPR.

According to the prosecution, Murray then ordered the security guard to grab a bag while he started grabbing vials and a saline bag hanging from the IV stand to put inside the bag.

That bag was later found inside Jackson’s home.

The rented Los Angeles home where the singer was found unconsciousThe rented Los Angeles home where the singer was found unconscious

Prosecutors also say the doctor ordered someone to clean up signs that Jackson had been receiving a variety of medications, including propofol, and that he improperly monitored Jackson’s vital signs, performed inadequate CPR and did not inform emergency medical personnel that he had given the singer propofol.

A recorded conversation that Murray had two days after Jackson’s death was played where Murray can be heard saying that he gave his patient a small dose of propofol and then left him for 15 minutes to go to the bathroom.

‘Then I came back to his bedside and was shocked because he wasn’t breathing,’ he says in the audio recorded on June 27. Prosecutors allege that he was gone for a lot longer.

At 12.30, paramedics arrived at his home and treated Jackson for 42 minutes before transporting him to nearby Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

He arrived at 1.14pm and a team of doctors tried for more than an hour to resuscitate him. He was declared dead at 2.26pm with members of his family by his side.

  • Jackson ‘killed himself after doctor tried to wean him off drugs’
Accusation: Dr Murray's attorney said that Jackson had given himself the propofol that killed him (file picture)Dr Murray’s attorney alleges that Jackson had given himself the propofol that killed him

Dr Murray’s defence attorney said that Michael Jackson gave himself the drugs that killed him because the doctor refused.

Ed Chernoff told the jury that Jackson did not die because of Murray’s treatment, but because ‘Dr Murray stopped’ giving him the drugs he demanded.

He said that when Murray started working for Jackson, the singer was already using propofol and said he could only sleep if he was given it.

Jackson said he had always taken what he called ‘his milk’ while on tour.

The defence attorney said that Murray had administered the drug because he was concerned about the drug and believed that the singer would find a way to get it anyway.

He said that Murray was trying to wean Jackson off propofol at the time of he death and that he had refused to give it to the singer on the day he died because it was the third day of the weaning off process.

Mr Chernoff said that Jackson swallowed 8, 2 mg pills of Lorazepam and injected himself with a dose of propofol, while Murray was out of the room.

This ‘created a perfect storm in his body that killed him instantly,’ Mr Chernoff said.

Outside court: People both for and against Dr Murray gathered by the courthouse in Los Angeles
Outside court: People both for and against Dr Murray gathered by the courthouse in Los Angeles

Outside court: People both for and against Dr Murray gathered by the courthouse in Los Angeles

Fans: Michael Jackson impersonator Goward Horton poses for the media outside the courthouseFans: Michael Jackson impersonator Goward Horton poses for the media outside the courthouse

Millions of people around the world are expected to watch as the trial gives a glimpse into final days of the King of Pop.

Crowds of people gathered at the Los Angeles Superior Court where there was a lottery drawn for seats for the opening statements.

Supporters of both Dr Murray, 57, and Jackson are outside the courthouse with signs including, ‘Fair trial for Dr Murray’ and ‘Doctors are expected to heal not kill’.

A woman had to be stopped by court officers as she rushed towards Dr Murray as he walked in a courthouse corridor. She reportedly said she just wanted to speak to the doctor, it is not clear if she has been detained.

The list of potential witnesses includes his eldest children Prince Michael and Paris, who have reportedly said that they want to take to the stand to testify.

Sister: La Toya Jackson arrives with a sunflower during the opening day of Dr Conrad Murray's trial

Sister: La Toya Jackson arrives with a sunflower during the opening day of Dr Conrad Murray’s trial

Relatives: The Jackson Family, including mother Katherine Jackson and father Joe Jackson, arrive at the Criminal Courts Building in Downtown Los Angeles
In court: Michael Jackson's father Joe arrives for opening statements in the trial

Relatives: The Jackson Family, including mother Katherine Jackson and father Joe Jackson, arrive at the Criminal Courts Building in Downtown Los Angeles

Brother: Jermaine Jackson arrives during the opening day of Dr Conrad Murray's trialBrother: Jermaine Jackson arrives during the opening day of Dr Conrad Murray’s trial

RATINGS WINNER: MILLIONS TO WATCH TRIAL ACROSS GLOBE

People around the world are expected to watch as the public hears for the first time from Dr Murray what happened in the events leading to Michael Jackson’s death.

The trial is expected to be attended by Jackson’s high-profile family, including his parents and sisters Janet and La Toya, and stars such as High School Musical choreographer Kenny Ortega, who is expected to be the first witness to be called.

Cable news networks are hoping that the court proceedings will be a repeat of the Casey Anthony trial, which proved a ratings success.

News network HLN, which saw record ratings during the trial of the Florida mother, is planning similarly exhaustive coverage of the case, including analysis from Nancy Grace, who has been thrust into the spotlight.

Medical examiners have determined Jackson’s death at the age of 50 on June 25 2009, at his rented Los Angeles mansion was due to an overdose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol and sedatives.

Prosecutors say Murray caused Jackson’s death by giving him propofol as a sleep aid, and failing to monitor him properly.

Murray denies the charge of involuntary manslaughter but faces a prison sentence of up to four years if convicted.

His defence team is expected to argue that Jackson was addicted to various painkillers and sedatives and gave himself the fatal dose of propofol, possibly by swallowing it.

Ed Chernoff, the lead attorney for Murray, said in closed-door arguments on Monday that Jackson, 50, was ‘desperate’ around the time of his death.

‘We think that Michael Jackson was involved in certain acts that ended his own life,’ Chernoff said, according to a court transcript.

The trial is expected to hear testimony from the paramedics who transported Jackson to the hospital, medical experts, Jackson’s choreographer and Murray’s girlfriends.

Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos, who once represented Jackson and has closely watched the criminal case against Murray, said that Jackson’s 13-year-old daughter Paris might also be called to testify, in what would likely be one of the most dramatic moments of the trial.

Defence: Dr Conrad Murray's attorney J Michael Flannigan arrives at the Los Angeles Superior Court during the opening day of Murray's trialDefence: Dr Conrad Murray’s attorney J Michael Flannigan arrives at the Los Angeles Superior Court during the opening day of Murray’s trial

Their say: Paris and Prince Jackson, pictured with younger brother Blanket at their father's memorial service, want to give their account of the day their father diedTheir say: Paris and Prince Jackson, pictured with younger brother Blanket at their father’s memorial service, want to give their account of the day their father died

Trial: Supporters at the late pop star Michael Jackson hold signs outside Los Angeles Superior CourtTrial: Supporters at the late pop star Michael Jackson hold signs outside Los Angeles Superior Court

WHO IS DR CONRAD MURRAY?

Dr Conrad MurrayThe 57-year old physician, who was the last person to see Michael Jackson alive, has been charged with the involuntary manslaughter of the singer on June 25 2009.

The doctor was hired by Jackson for a reported fee of $150,000 as he prepared for his 50 date concert series in London.

The Grenada-born cardiologist, who was educated in the U.S., first met Jackson in 2006 when he treated one of the singer’s children in Las Vegas.

In May 2009, he took leave from his practice and wrote a letter to his patients saying he was leaving ‘because of a once in a lifetime opportunity’.

Murray declined to offer public comment following the death of Jackson, but in August last year posted a YouTube video in which he said ‘truth will prevail’.

‘She not only has things to say, but she can say it in a compelling way,’ Mr Geragos said. Paris Jackson was at the house when the singer stopped breathing.

Jackson’s children, Prince Michael, 14, and Paris, 13, have both reportedly told their grandmother Katherine of their desire to want to testify.

But a source close to the Jackson family revealed to RadarOnline that the children have warm recollections of the medic, which could help the jury clear the doctor.

They wrote: ‘Prince and Paris adored Dr Murray and thought he was a godsend for their father.

‘It was only after their father’s death that they formed a subsequent opinion of him. Both Prince and Paris could take the stand and wind up providing evidence which supports the doctor.’

What could be even more damaging to prosecutors, however, is if the children are cross-examined about their father’s long-term drug use.

‘Prince and Paris knew their dad relied on Dr Murray to survive and knew their father adored him,’ the source said.

‘Their comments could save him from jail because it would work well in the eyes of a jury.’

The insider told RadarOnline that Prince, if he testifies, will tell the court what he saw when he walked into his father’s bedroom in the middle of his doctor’s doomed attempts to revive him.

Worldwide interest: Journalists position themselves outside the courthouse as the trial begins in Los AngelesWorldwide interest: Journalists position themselves outside the courthouse as the trial begins in Los Angeles

Crowds: Demonstrators for and against make their case as the involuntary manslaughter trial for Dr Conrad MurrayCrowds: Demonstrators for and against make their case as the involuntary manslaughter trial for Dr Conrad Murray

Murray has insisted Prince Michael and Paris were bundled from the room after the star’s daughter burst into tears and screamed ‘Daddy’.

Their aunt LaToya, who believes her brother was unlawfully killed, has said it would be good for the children to, ‘Get what is inside them, out of them.’

‘She feels it is a way for them to release the hurt,’ the source told RadarOnline. ‘She believes her brother was murdered and what Prince Michael and Paris could tell the jury, would inevitably help convict the doctor.’

Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket were all included on a potential witness list passed out to the jurors in an attempt to ascertain their familiarity with the family.

Death: Jackson was preparing for a 50 date concert at the O2 in London when he diedDeath: Jackson was preparing for a 50 date concert at the O2 in London when he died

Home: Jackson went into cardiac arrest at this rented house in LAHome: Jackson went into cardiac arrest at this rented house in LA

First on the stand: High School Musical director Kenny Ortega, who was choreographing Jackson's 'This is it' tour is expected to be called todayFirst on the stand: High School Musical director Kenny Ortega, who was choreographing Jackson’s ‘This is it’ tour is expected to be called today

Also listed were siblings Janet, LaToya, Jermaine, Marlon, Rebbie, Tito and Randy as well as parents Katherine and Joe Jackson.

The case is one of a small but growing number of U.S. criminal prosecutions of doctors for alleged malpractice.

Mr Geragos said he believes prosecutors could have a difficult time winning a conviction – and that a hung jury with no conviction or acquittal is more likely.

‘Jurors are loathe to convict doctors in this type of a situation,’ Mr Geragos said, adding that many times jurors don’t want to second-guess doctors.

The responses of the 12-person jury to written questionnaires made public last week shows that none of them reported having a negative experience with doctors.

At the time of his death, Jackson was readying himself for 50 planned shows in London called ‘This Is It.’

The first prosecution witness is expected to be High School Musical director Kenny Ortega, the choreographer who was hired to stage the London shows and who was conducting rehearsals with Jackson in Los Angeles.

THE 12 PEOPLE THAT WILL DECIDE WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO JACKSON

Juror No. 1: Mexican male, 51, U.S. Postal Service letter carrier, married father-of-five. A Michael Jackson fan who said he finds law enforcement officers, firefighters and doctors ‘always believable’.

Juror No. 2: Spanish female, 57, unemployed. Has served on five previous juries and closely followed the O.J. Simpson trial but said it did not affect her opinion of the criminal justice system. She does not consider herself a Jackson fan.

Juror No. 3: American male, 45, a partner in a management consulting firm. His wife is a former registered nurse, and both his brother-in-law and cousin are physicians. He has served on two previous juries, including a murder case in 1994.

Juror No. 4: American male, 32,  part-time bookseller and cashier. He served as a U.S. Army National Guard specialist as a telecom operator. His primary source of news is the Internet.

Juror No. 5: American female, 48, paralegal.  She watched the Casey Anthony murder trial ‘on and off’ because family members were interested was very interested but said it did not affect her opinion of the criminal justice system.

Juror No. 6: Cuban/Mexican male, 39, associate director of product management. He is an occasional reader of various Internet news and gossip sites. He considers himself a Jackson fan and owns various Michael Jackson, Jackson 5 and Janet Jackson CDs.

Juror No. 7: Mexican American female, 57, relocation representative in office management/customer service. She followed the Casey Anthony case and believes people of wealth or fame are treated differently in the court system.

Juror No. 8: Mexican male, 42, school bus driver. He believes Hollywood celebrities get away with crimes because of their status. He does not consider himself a fan of Michael Jackson but has a positive opinion of him.

Juror  No. 9: African American male, 54, television technical director. A Michael Jackson fan, he has served on two criminal juries and one civil jury.

Juror No. 10: English female, 43, international marketer but previously worked as a pathology/medical technician in a biochemistry lab.

Juror No. 11: Hispanic female, 36, customer service representative. She reads People magazine and TMZ.com and watches reality television. She was shot in a drive-by shooting in 1993.

Juror No. 12: American male, 54, retired animator now working as a teacher. He considers Michael Jackson a ‘gifted performer’ and has owned Jackson CDs and albums since he was a teenager.

Key players: The figures at the centre of the trial

Landmark trial: Dr Conrad Murray, right, is charged with the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson

Dr Conrad Murray, defendant

A 58 year-old cardiologist who practiced in Las Vegas and Houston, Murray was hired as Jackson’s $150,000 a month personal physician roughly a month before the pop superstar’s death in June 2009.

Authorities contend Murray, who had financial difficulties before the singer’s death, administered a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol mixed with other sedatives.

The doctor, who was never paid, has pleaded not guilty and faces up to four years in prison and will lose his medical license if convicted.

Chernoff

Ed Chernoff, defence attorney

A Houston-based defense attorney working his first high-profile case, Chernoff has been Murray’s primary defense attorney since shortly after Jackson’s death. He represented the doctor during a meeting with police during which Murray disclosed that he had given Jackson propofol. Prosecutors plan to use the statements against Murray during trial.

Chernoff has maintained that Murray did not administer anything to Jackson that should have killed him.

Walgren

David Walgren, prosecutor

A deputy district attorney in the major crimes division, Walgren is the lead prosecutor in the Murray case.

He has painted Murray as an incompetent doctor who initially tried to conceal that he had been giving the singer the anesthetic propofol without proper lifesaving equipment.

He was previously responsible for the district attorney’s effort to return director Roman Polanski to Los Angeles for sentencing in a three-decades old rape case. Switzerland eventually refused to extradite Polanski, which placed the case on hold.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

Jackson’s death at age 50 in June 2009 stunned the world and gave the entertainer, posthumously, what he wanted – a comeback.

Hundreds of millions of dollars in debt at the time of his death and his reputation still tarnished by unproven child molestation accusations, Jackson’s estate has gone on to earn more than $310 million.

Jurors won’t hear about his shaky finances or references to his alleged drug abuse, but they will see footage of some of the singer’s final rehearsals and hear from some of the people were with him in his final days.

Flanagan

J Michael Flanagan, defence attorney

A Los Angeles criminal defence attorney who specialises in drunk driving cases, Flanagan also has the distinction of winning an acquittal for a nurse accused of improperly giving propofol to a patient who died.

He represented Britney Spears in a driver’s license case that was dropped after a jury deadlocked on the case, and has dealt with numerous scientific and testing issues related to Murray’s defense.

Pastor

Judge Michael Pastor

A well-respected Los Angeles Superior Court Judge since 1983, Pastor is one of several judges who presides over the most serious criminal cases in Los Angeles.

He has previously handled a drunken driving case against actor Jason Priestly and a case against a man accused of stalking Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson.

He has consistently that Murray’s trial will focus on Jackson’s final days and hours and has prohibited the doctor’s lawyers from introducing evidence about the singer’s addiction or financial woes.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2042463/Conrad-Murray-trial-Michael-Jackson-dead-body-picture-shown-jury.html#ixzz1ZFG5hoGp

PC 190 DAVID RATHBAND SHOT AND BLINDED BY GUNMAN RAUL MOAT

CLOSE-UP OF PC DAVID RATHBAND AT THE TIME OF SHOOTING 03RD JULY 2010
PERSONALLY SIGNED PHOTOGRAPH OF PC DAVID RATHBAND ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL
CLOSE-UP OF HANDWRITING AND SIGNATURE OF PC DAVID RATHBANDPC DAVID RATHBAND BIOGRAPHY PERSONALLY HAND SIGNED PHOTOGRAPH OF PC DAVID RATHBAND ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAILCLOSE-UP OF HANDWRITING AND SIGNATURE OF PC DAVID RATHBAND 

PC David Rathband relives shooting in new book

PC David Rathband

BLINDED PC David Rathband relives the horrifying moment he was shot by gunman Raoul Moat in his new book.

PC Rathband’s life-changing experience is told in graphic detail in his new autobiography, Tango 190, which is set to hit stores soon.

He also tells of the moment he watched Moat’s pals, Karl Ness and Qhuram Awan, jailed for life for helping the bouncer become Britain’s biggest fugitive. PC Rathband was gunned down in Newcastle, in the early hours of Sunday July 4 last year, just 24 hours after Moat shot his ex-partner Samantha Stobbart, 22, and killed her new lover Chris Brown, 29, in Birtley, Gateshead.

He lost his sight after he was shot twice in the face by Moat as his patrol car was parked up on an A1 roundabout.

The autobiography also tells of PC Rathband’s courageous battle to rebuild his life, with the help of his family, in the wake of his terrible injuries suffered in the line of duty.

PC Rathband said: “This is my story told in full and in my own words for the first time. For the past nine months I’ve said what needed to be said, conscious that the legal process had to take its course. Now, for the first time, I can tell the whole truth from the start to finish. The story begins long before July 4, and for me there can never be an end.”

 

 

THE BRUTAL REGIME OF ROBERT MUGABE – PRESIDENT OF ZIMBABWE

ROBERT MUGABE 

TORTURE VICTIM IN ZIMBABWE 

Robert Mugabe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Robert mugabe)
“Mugabe” redirects here. For other uses, see Mugabe (disambiguation).
Page semi-protected
Robert Mugabe
2nd President of Zimbabwe
Incumbent
Assumed office
31 December 1987
23 years, 249 days
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
Vice President Joice Mujuru
Simon Muzenda
John Nkomo
Preceded by Canaan Banana
1st Prime Minister of Zimbabwe
In office
18 April 1980 – 31 December 1987
President Canaan Banana
Preceded by Abel Muzorewa (Zimbabwe Rhodesia)
Succeeded by Post abolished
Morgan Tsvangirai (2009)
10th Secretary-General of the Non-Aligned Movement
In office
6 September 1986 – 7 September 1989
Preceded by Zail Singh
Succeeded by Janez Drnovšek
Personal details
Born 21 February 1924 (age 87)
KutamaSouthern Rhodesia
Political party ZANU-PF (1987–present)
ZANU 1963–1987)
ZAPU (1961–1963)
NDP (1960–1961)
Spouse(s) Sally Hayfron (Deceased)
Grace Marufu
Children 4
Alma mater University of Fort Hare
University of South Africa
University of London
Religion Roman Catholicism
Signature

Robert Gabriel Mugabe (Shona pronunciation: [muɡaɓe],[needs tone] English: /muːˈɡɑːbiː/ moo-gah-bee; born 21 February 1924) is the President of Zimbabwe. As one of the leaders of the liberation movement against white-minority rule, he was elected into power in 1980. He served as Prime Minister from 1980 to 1987, and as the first executive head of state since 1987.[1]

Mugabe rose to prominence in the 1960s as the Secretary General of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) during the conflict against the white-minority rule government of Ian Smith. Mugabe was a political prisoner in Rhodesia for more than 10 years between 1964 and 1974.[2] Upon release withEdgar Tekere, Mugabe left Rhodesia in 1975 to re-join the Zimbabwe Liberation Struggle (Rhodesian Bush War) from bases in Mozambique.

At the end of the war in 1979, Mugabe emerged as a hero in the minds of many Africans.[3][4] He won the general elections of 1980, the second in which the majority of black Africans participated in large numbers (though the electoral system in Rhodesia had allowed black participation based on qualified franchise). Mugabe then became the first Prime Minister after calling for reconciliation between formerly warring parties, including white Rhodesians and rival political groups.

The years following Zimbabwe’s independence saw a split between the two key belligerents who had fought alongside each other during the 1970s against the government of Rhodesia. An armed conflict between Mugabe’s Government and dissident followers of Joshua Nkomo‘s pro-Marxist ZAPU erupted. Following the deaths of thousands, neither warring faction able to defeat the other, the heads of the opposing movements reached a landmark agreement, whence was created a new ruling party, ZANU PF, as a merger between the two former rivals.[5]

In 1998, Mugabe’s government supported the Southern African Development Community‘s intervention in the Second Congo War by sending Zimbabwean troops to assist the Kabila government.[citation needed]

Since 2000, the Mugabe-led government embarked on a controversial fast-track land reform program intended to correct the inequitable land distribution created by colonial rule.[6] The period has been marked by the deterioration of the Zimbabwean economic situation. Mugabe’s policies have been condemned in some quarters at home and abroad, especially receiving harsh criticism from the British and American governments arguing they amount to an often violent land seizure. Eventually a wide range of sanctions[7][8][9] was imposed by the US government and European Union against the person of Mugabe, individuals, private companies, parastatals and the government of Zimbabwe. In 2008, his party suffered a tight defeat in national parliamentary elections, but after disputed presidential elections, Mugabe retained presidential power with the signing of a power-sharing deal with opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara of the MDC-T and MDC-M opposition party.[10]

Robert Gabriel Mugabe was born near Kutama Jesuit Mission in the Zvimba District northwest of Salisbury in Southern Rhodesia to a Malawian father Gabriel Matibili and a Shona mother Bona, both Roman Catholic. He was the third of six children. He had two older brothers, and one of them, Michael, was very popular in the village. Both his older brothers died when he was young, leaving Robert and his younger brother, Donato.[11] His father, Gabriel Matibili, a carpenter,[12] abandoned the Mugabe family in 1934 after Michael died, in search of work in Bulawayo.[13]Early life

Mugabe was raised as a Roman Catholic, studying in Marist Brothers and Jesuit schools, including the exclusive Kutama College, headed by an Irish priest, Father Jerome O’Hea, who took him under his wing. Through his youth, Mugabe was never socially popular nor physically active and spent most of his time with the priests or his mother when he was not reading in the school’s libraries. He was described as never playing with other children but enjoying his own company.[12] According to his brother Donato his only friends were his books[14]

He qualified as a teacher, but left to study at Fort Hare in South Africa graduating in 1951, while meeting contemporaries such as Julius NyerereHerbert ChitepoRobert Sobukwe and Kenneth Kaunda. He then studied at Salisbury (1953), Gwelo (1954), and Tanzania (1955–1957). Originally graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Fort Hare in 1951, Mugabe subsequently earned six further degrees through distance learning including a Bachelor of Administration and Bachelor of Education from the University of South Africa and a Bachelor of Science,Bachelor of LawsMaster of Science, and Master of Laws, all from the University of London External Programme.[15] The two Law degrees were earned while he was in prison, the Master of Science degree earned during his premiership of Zimbabwe.[16]

After graduating, Mugabe lectured at Chalimbana Teacher Training College, in Zambia from 1955–1958, thereafter he taught at Apowa Secondary School at Takoradi, in the Western region of Ghanaafter completing his local certification at Achimota School (1958–1960), where he met Sally Hayfron, whom he married in April 1961.[17] During his stay in Ghana, he was influenced and inspired by Ghana’s then Prime Minister, Kwame Nkrumah. In addition, Mugabe and some of his Zimbabwe African National Union party cadres received instruction at the Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute, then at Winneba in southern Ghana.[18][19]

Early political career

Main article: History of Zimbabwe

Mugabe returned to Southern Rhodesia and joined the National Democratic Party (NDP) in 1960.[20] The administration of Prime Minister Ian Smith banned the NDP when it later became Joshua Nkomo‘s Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU). Mugabe left ZAPU in 1963 to join the rival Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) which had been formed in 1963 by the Reverend Ndabaningi SitholeEdgar TekereEdson ZvobgoEnos Nkala and lawyer Herbert Chitepo.

ZANU was influenced by the Africanist ideas of the Pan Africanist Congress in South Africa[21] and influenced by Maoism while ZAPU was an ally of the African National Congress and was a supporter of a more orthodox pro-Soviet line on national liberation. Similar divisions can also be seen in the liberation movement in Angola between the MPLA and UNITA. It would have been easy for the party to split along tribal lines between the Ndebele and Mugabe’s own Shona tribe, but cross-tribal representation was maintained by his partners. ZANU leader Sithole nominated Robert Mugabe as his Secretary General.

In 1964 Mugabe was arrested for “subversive speech” and spent the next 11 years in Salisbury prison. During that period he earned three degrees, including a law degree from London and a bachelor of administration from the University of South Africa by correspondence courses. When Mugabe’s four-year-old son died, he was refused permission by Smith’s government to leave prison to attend the funeral.[12]

In 1974, while still in prison, Mugabe was elected—with the powerful influence of Edgar Tekere—to take over the reins of ZANU after a no-confidence vote was passed on Ndabaningi Sithole[22] – Mugabe himself abstained from voting. His time in prison burnished his reputation and helped his cause.[12] Following a South African détente initiative, Mugabe was released from prison in November 1974 along with other Nationalist leaders and having initially travelled to Zambia, where he was ignored by Kenneth Kaunda, returned then left once again in April 1975 for Mozambique assisted by a Dominican nun, where he was later placed in temporary protective custody by President Samora Machel. According to Eddie Cross who participated in interviews of the leadership at that time to determine their views on the “longer term future”, Mugabe’s political viewpoint was that “a new ‘progressive’ society could not be constructed on the foundations of the past [and] that they would have to destroy most of what had been built up after 1900 before a new society, based on subsistence and peasant values could be constructed”.[23][24][25]

Mugabe unilaterally assumed control of ZANU after the death of Herbert Chitepo on 18 March 1975. Later that year, after squabbling with Ndabaningi Sithole, Mugabe formed a militant ZANU faction, leaving Sithole to lead the moderate Zanu (Ndonga) party. Many opposition leaders mysteriously died during this time (Including one who allegedly died in a car crash, although the car was rumoured to have been riddled with bullet holes at the scene of the accident).[12] Additionally, an opposing newspaper’s printing press was bombed and its journalists tortured.[12]

Lancaster House Agreement

Prime Minister Mugabe departs Andrews Air Force Base after a state visit to the United States in 1983

Persuasion from B. J. Vorster, himself under pressure from Henry Kissinger, forced Ian Smith, the sitting prime minister at the time, to accept in principle that white minority rule could not continue indefinitely. On 3 March 1978 Bishop Abel MuzorewaNdabaningi Sithole and other moderate leaders signed an agreement at the Governor’s Lodge in Salisbury, which paved the way for an interim power-sharing government, in preparation for elections. The elections were won by the United African National Council under Bishop Abel Muzorewa, but international recognition did not follow and sanctions were not lifted. The two ‘Patriotic Front’ groups under Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo refused to participate and continued the war.

The incoming government did accept an invitation to talks at Lancaster House in September 1979. A ceasefire was negotiated for the talks, which were attended by Smith, Mugabe, Nkomo, Zvobgo and others. Eventually the parties to the talks agreed on a new constitution for a new Republic of Zimbabwe with elections in February 1980. The Lancaster Agreement saw Mugabe make two important and contentious concessions. First, he allowed 20 seats to be reserved for whites in the new Parliament, and second, he agreed to a ten year moratorium on constitutional amendments. His return to Zimbabwe in December 1979, following the completion of the Lancaster House Agreement, was greeted with enormous supportive crowds.

Prime Minister

President Robert Mugabe

After a campaign marked by intimidation from all sides, mistrust from security forces and reports of full ballot boxes found on the road, the Shonamajority was decisive in electing Mugabe to head the first government as prime minister on 4 March 1980. ZANU won 57 out of 80 Common Roll seats in the new parliament, with the 20 white seats all going to the Rhodesian Front.[citation needed]

Mugabe, whose political support came from his Shona-speaking homeland in the north, attempted to build Zimbabwe on a basis of an uneasy coalition with his ZAPU rivals, whose support came from the Ndebele-speaking south, and with the white minority. Mugabe sought to incorporate ZAPU into his ZANU led government and ZAPU’s military wing into the army. ZAPU’s leader, Joshua Nkomo, was given a series of cabinet positions in Mugabe’s government. However, Mugabe was torn between this objective and pressures to meet the expectations of his own ZANU followers for a faster pace of social change.

In 1983, Mugabe fired Nkomo from his cabinet, triggering bitter fighting between ZAPU supporters in the Ndebele-speaking region of the country and the ruling ZANU. Mugabe accused the Ndebele tribe of plotting to overthrow him after sacking Nkomo. Between 1982 and 1985, the military crushed armed resistance from Ndebele groups in the provinces of Matabeleland and the Midlands, leaving Mugabe’s rule secure. Mugabe has been accused by the BBC’s Panorama programme of committing mass murder during this period of his rule, after the show investigated claims made by political activist Gary Jones that Mugabe had been instrumental in removing him and his family from his farmland.[26] A peace accord was negotiated in 1987.[27] ZAPU merged into the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) on 22 December 1988.[28] Mugabe brought Nkomo into the government once again as a vice-president.[citation needed]

President

In 1987, the position of Prime Minister was abolished and Mugabe assumed the new office of executive President of Zimbabwe gaining additional powers in the process. He was re-elected in 1990 and 1996, and in 2002 amid claims of widespread vote-rigging and intimidation. Mugabe’s term of office expired at the end of March 2008, but he was re-elected later in 2008 in another election marred by allegations of election fraud and intimidation.

Mugabe has been the Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe since Parliament passed the University of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill in November 1990.[29]

Gukurahundi

Main article: Gukurahundi

There were major outbreaks of violence between ZIPRA and ZANLA awaiting integration into the National Army. ZAPU was believed to have been planning an armed revolt to make up for ZAPU’s poor showing in the 1980 elections.[5]

Major arms caches were discovered in early 1982, and this caused a final rift between ZANU and ZAPU. Some believe that this was engineered by South African agents. South Africa’s policy of destabilising Zimbabwe by military means, while blaming ZAPU for the actions of South African agents, helped to escalate the breakdown between ZAPU and ZANU in the early 1980s. This in turn led Zimbabwe to retain a state of emergency throughout the 1980s.[5]

According to a report by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe’s Fifth Brigade killed between 3,000 and 3,750 people.[5]

Economy

Main article: Economy of Zimbabwe

During the 1980s Mugabe’s policies were largely socialist in orientation. In 1980 and 1981 the Zimbabwean economy showed strong growth of the GDP with 10.6% and 12.5%. From 1982–1989 economic growth averaged just 2.7% (1980–1989 average 4.47%). The white minority government maintained (with economic sanctions) from 1966–1972 a 6.7% average growth rate and overall from 1966 till 1979 a 3.8% average growth rate.[30]

Unsuccessful market reform attempts were started in the 1990s and the economy stagnated in this time. Since 2000, GDP has declined by roughly 40% in part due to land reform and hyperinflation.

On November 2010, the IMF described the Zimbabwean economy as “completing its second year of buoyant economic growth”.[31][32]

Social programs

According to a 1995 World Bank report, after independence, “Zimbabwe gave priority to human resource investments and support for smallholder agriculture,” and as a result, “smallholder agriculture expanded rapidly during the first half of the 1980s and social indicators improved quickly.” From 1980 to 1990 infant mortality decreased from 86 to 49 per 1000 live births, under five mortality was reduced from 128 to 58 per 1000 live births, and immunisation increased from 25% to 80% of the population. Also, “child malnutrition fell from 22% to 12% and life expectancy increased from 56 to 64. By 1990, Zimbabwe had a lower infant mortality rate, higher adult literacy and higher school enrolment rate than average for developing countries”.[33]

In 1991, the government of Zimbabwe, short on hard currency and under international pressure, embarked on an austerity program. The World Bank’s 1995 report explained that such reforms were required because Zimbabwe was unable to absorb into its labour market the many graduates from its impressive education system and that it needed to attract additional foreign investments. The reforms, however, undermined the livelihoods of Zimbabwe’s poor majority; the report noted “large segments of the population, including most smallholder farmers and small scale enterprises, find themselves in a vulnerable position with limited capacity to respond to evolving market opportunities. This is due to their limited access to natural, technical and financial resources, to the contraction of many public services for smallholder agriculture, and to their still nascent links with larger scale enterprises.”

Moreover, these people were forced to live on marginal lands as Zimbabwe’s best lands were reserved for mainly white landlords growing cash crops for export, a sector of the economy favoured by the IMF’s plan. For the poor on the communal lands, “existing levels of production in these areas are now threatened by the environmental fragility of the natural resource base and the unsustainability of existing farming practices”.[33] The International Monetary Fund later suspended aid, saying reforms were “not on track.”

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), life expectancy at birth for Zimbabwean men has since become 37 years and is 34 years for women, the lowest such figures for any nation.[34] The World Bank’s 1995 report predicted this decline in life expectancy from its 1990 height of 64 years when, commenting on health care system cuts mandated by the IMF structural adjustment programme, it stated that “The decline in resources is creating strains and threatening the sustainability of health sector achievements”.[33]

While Zimbabwe has suffered in many other measures under Mugabe, as a former schoolteacher he has been well known for his commitment to education.[12] As of 2008, Zimbabwe had a literacy rateof 90%, the highest in Africa.[35] However, Catholic Archbishop of Zimbabwe Pius Ncube decried the educational situation in the country, saying, among other scathing indictments of Mugabe, “We had the best education in Africa and now our schools are closing”.[36]

Prior to its suspension in 2009, the Zimbabwe dollar had suffered from the second-highest hyperinflation rate of any currency in modern times.[37]

Racism

A number of people have accused Mugabe of having a racist attitude towards white people. John Sentamu, a Uganda-born Archbishop of York in the United Kingdom, calls Mugabe “the worst kind of racist dictator,” for having “targeted the whites for their apparent riches”.[38] Almost thirty years after ending white-minority rule in Zimbabwe, Mugabe accuses the United Kingdom and the United States of promoting white imperialism and regularly accuses opposition figures to his government of being allies of white imperialism.[39][40]

When the United Kingdom once condemned Mugabe’s authoritarian policies and alleged racist attitudes as being comparable to those of German Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, Mugabe responded with an extremely controversial remark, mocking the UK’s claims by saying about himself and his policies that “I am still the Hitler of the time. This Hitler has only one objective, justice for his own people, sovereignty for his people, recognition of the independence of his people, and their right to their resources. If that is Hitler, then let me be a Hitler tenfold.”[41]

Views on homosexuality

Mugabe has been uncompromising in his opposition to homosexuality. In September 1995, Zimbabwe’s parliament introduced legislation banning homosexual acts.[42] In 1997, a court found Canaan Banana, Mugabe’s predecessor and the first President of Zimbabwe, guilty of 11 counts of sodomy and indecent assault.[43]

Second Congo War

Mugabe was blamed for Zimbabwe’s participation in the Second Congo War in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At a time when the Zimbabwean economy was struggling, Zimbabwe responded to a call by the Southern African Development Community to help the struggling regime in Kinshasa. The Democratic Republic of the Congo had been invaded by Rwanda and Uganda, both of which claimed that their civilians, and regional stability, were under constant threat of attack by Rwandan Hutu militiamen based in the Congo.[44]

However, the Congolese government, as well as international commentators, charged that the motive for the invasion was to grab the rich mineral resources of eastern Congo.[45][46] The war raised accusations of corruption, with officials alleged to be plundering the Congo’s mineral reserves. Mugabe’s defence minister Moven Mahachi said, “Instead of our army in the DRC burdening the treasury for more resources, which are not available, it embarks on viable projects for the sake of generating the necessary revenue”.[47]

Land reform

When Zimbabwe gained independence, 46.5% of the country’s arable land was owned by around 6,000 commercial farmers[48] and white farmers, who made up less than 1% of the population, owned 70% of the best farming land.[49] Mugabe accepted a “willing buyer, willing seller” plan as part of the Lancaster House Agreement of 1979, among other concessions to the white minority.[50] As part of this agreement, land redistribution was blocked for a period of 10 years.[51]

In 1997, the new British government led by Tony Blair unilaterally stopped funding the “willing buyer, willing seller” land reform programme on the basis that the initial £44 million allocated under theThatcher government was used to purchase land for members of the ruling elite rather than landless peasants. Furthermore, Britain’s ruling Labour Party felt no obligation to continue paying white farmers compensation, or in minister Clare Short‘s words, “I should make it clear that we do not accept that Britain has a special responsibility to meet the costs of land purchase in Zimbabwe. We are a new Government from diverse backgrounds without links to former colonial interests. My own origins are Irish and as you know we were colonised not colonisers”.[52]

Some commentators, such as Matthew Sweet in The Independent, hold Cecil Rhodes ultimately responsible:

… It was Cecil Rhodes who originated the racist ‘land grabs’ to which Zimbabwe’s current miseries can ultimately be traced. It was Rhodes who in 1887 told the House Of Assembly in Cape Town, South Africa that ‘the native is to be treated as a child and denied the franchise. We must adopt a system of despotism in our relations with the barbarians of Southern Africa’.[53]

According to Sweet, “In less oratorical moments, he put it even more bluntly: ‘I prefer land to niggers.'”

From 12 to 13 February 2000, a referendum on constitutional amendments was held. The proposed amendments would have limited future presidents to two terms, but as it was not retroactive, Mugabe could have stood for another two terms. It also would have made his government and military officials immune from prosecution for any illegal acts committed while in office. In addition, it allowed the government to confiscate white-owned land for redistribution to black farmers without compensation. The motion failed with 55% of participants against the referendum.[54]

The referendum had a 20% turnout fuelled by an effective SMS campaign. Mugabe declared that he would “abide by the will of the people”. The vote was a surprise to ZANU-PF, and an embarrassment before parliamentary elections due in mid-April. Almost immediately, self-styled “war veterans”, led by Chenjerai ‘Hitler’ Hunzvi, began invading white-owned farms. Those who did not leave voluntarily were often tortured and sometimes killed. One was forced to drink diesel fuel as a form of torture.[55] On 6 April 2000, Parliament pushed through an amendment, taken word for word from the draft constitution that was rejected by voters, allowing the seizure of white-owned farmlands without due reimbursement or payment.[56]

On 8 December 2003, in protest against a further 18 months of suspension from the Commonwealth of Nations (thereby cutting foreign aid to Zimbabwe), Mugabe withdrew his country from the Commonwealth. Mugabe informed the leaders of Jamaica, Nigeria and South Africa of his decision when they telephoned him to discuss the situation. Zimbabwe’s government said the President did not accept the Commonwealth’s position, and was leaving the group.[57]

The United Nations provoked anger when its Food and Agriculture Organisation invited Mugabe to speak at a celebration of its 60th anniversary in Rome. Critics of the move argued that since Mugabe could not feed his own people without the UN’s support, he was an inappropriate speaker for the group, which has a mission statement of “helping to build a world without hunger”.[58]

In 2005, Mugabe ordered a raid conducted on what the government termed “illegal shelters” in Harare, resulting in 10,000 urban poor being left homeless from “Operation Murambatsvina (English: Operation Drive Out the Rubbish).” The authorities themselves had moved the poor inhabitants to the area in 1992, telling them not to build permanent homes and that their new homes were temporary, leading the inhabitants to build their own temporary shelters out of cardboard and wood.[59] Since the inhabitants of the shantytowns overwhelmingly supported the Movement for Democratic Change opposition party in the previous election, many alleged that the mass bulldozing was politically motivated.[59] The UK’s Daily Telegraph noted that Mugabe’s “latest palace,” in the style of a pagoda, was located a mile from the destroyed shelters.[59] The UN released a report stating that the actions of Mugabe resulted in the loss of home or livelihood for more than 700,000 Zimbabweans and negatively affected 2.4 million more.[58]

As of September 2006, Mugabe’s family owns three farms: Highfield Estate in Norton, 45 km west of HarareIron Mask Estate in Mazowe, about 40 km from Harare, and Foyle Farm in Mazowe, formerly owned by Ian Webster and adjacent to Iron Mask Farm, renamed to Gushungo Farm after Mugabe’s own clan name.[60] These farms were seized forcibly from their previous owners.[61]

Mugabe blames the food shortages on drought and the cumulative effect of sanctions imposed against the country.

In November 2010 the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University in England released a comprehensive study on the effects of Zimbabwean land reform. The study suggested that the consequences were mixed but that previous claims that the reform was a failure, that its primary recipients were political “cronies” or that it caused rural collapse were unfounded. One of the study’s authors, Professor Ian Scoones, stated: “What comes through from our research is the complexity, the differences in experience, almost farm by farm; there is no single, simple story of the Zimbabwe land reform as sometimes assumed by press reports, political commentators, or indeed much academic study”.[62]

Elections

In April 1979, 64% of the black citizens of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) lined up at the polls to vote in the first democratic election in the history of that southern African nation. Two-thirds of them supported Abel Muzorewa, a bishop in the United Methodist Church. He was the first black prime minister of a country only 4% white. Muzorewa’s victory put an end to the 14-year political odyssey of outgoing prime minister Ian Smith, who had infamously announced in 1976, “I do not believe in black majority rule—not in a thousand years.”

Less than a year after Muzorewa’s victory, however, in February 1980, another election was held in Zimbabwe. This time, Robert Mugabe, the Marxist who had fought a seven-year guerilla war against Rhodesia’s white-led government, won 64% of the vote, after a campaign marked by widespread intimidation, outright violence, and Mugabe’s threat to continue the civil war if he lost. Mugabe became prime minister and was toasted by the international community and media as a new sort of African leader.

Mugabe has continued to win elections, although frequently these have been criticised by outsiders for violating various electoral procedures.

Mugabe faced Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in presidential elections in March 2002.[63] Mugabe defeated Tsvangirai by 56.2% to 41.9% amid violence and the prevention of large numbers of citizens in urban areas from voting. The conduct of the elections was widely viewed internationally as having been manipulated.[64][65] Many groups, such as the United Kingdom, the European Union, the United States, and Tsvangirai’s party, assert that the result was rigged.[63]

Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party won the 2005 parliamentary elections with an increased majority. The elections were said by (again) South African observers to “reflect the free will of the people of Zimbabwe”, despite accusations of widespread fraud from the MDC.[66]

On 6 February 2007, Mugabe orchestrated a cabinet reshuffle, ousting ministers including five-year veteran finance minister Herbert Murerwa.[67]

On 11 March 2007, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was arrested and beaten following a prayer meeting in the Harare suburb of Highfields. Another member of the Movement for Democratic Change was killed while other protesters were injured.[68] Mugabe claimed that “Tsvangirai deserved his beating-up by police because he was not allowed to attend a banned rally” on 30 March 2007.[69]

General elections 2008

Mugabe launched his election campaign on his birthday in Beitbridge, a small town on the border with South Africa on 23 February 2008 by denouncing both the opposition MDC and Simba Makoni‘s candidacy. He was quoted in the state media as saying: “Dr Makoni lacked majority support while Mr Tsvangirai was in the presidential race simply to please his Western backers in exchange for money”.[70] These are the charges he has used in the past to describe the leader of the opposition.[citation needed]

In the week Dr. Makoni launched his campaign for the presidency, he accused Mugabe of buying votes from the electorate. This was a few hours after Dumiso Dabengwa had come out and endorsedDr. Makoni‘s candidature.[71]

First-round defeat and the campaign of violence

The presidential elections were conducted on 29 March 2008, together with the parliamentary elections. On 2 April 2008, the Zimbabwe Election Commission confirmed that Mugabe and his party, known as ZANU-PF, had lost control of Parliament to the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change. This was confirmed when the results were released.[72] Both the opposition and his party challenged the results in some constituencies.[73] According to unofficial polling, Zanu-PF took 94 seats, and the main opposition party MDC took 96 seats.[74] On 3 April 2008 Zimbabwean government forces began cracking down on the main opposition party and arrested at least two foreign journalists, who were covering the disputed presidential election, including a correspondent for the New York Times.[75][76]

On 30 March 2008, Mugabe convened a meeting with his top security officials to discuss his defeat in the elections. According to the Washington Post, he was prepared to concede, but was advised by Zimbabwe’s military chief Gen. Constantine Chiwenga to remain in the race, with the senior military officers “supervising a military-style campaign against the opposition”.[77] The first phase of the plan started a week later, involving the building of 2,000 party compounds across Zimbabwe, to serve as bases for the party militias.[77] On an 8 April 2008 meeting, the military plan was given the code name of “CIBD”, which stood for: “Coercion. Intimidation. Beating. Displacement.”[77]

The official results for the presidential elections would be delayed for five weeks. When British Prime Minister Gordon Brown attempted to intervene into the election controversy, Mugabe dismissed him as “a little tiny dot on this planet”.[78]

When the official results for the presidential elections were finally published by the Zimbabwe election commission on 2 May 2008, they showed that Mr. Mugabe had lost in the first round, getting 1,079,730 votes (43.2%) against 1,195,562 (47.9%) collected by Mr. Tsvangirai. Therefore no candidate secured the final win in the first round, and a presidential run-off will be needed. The opposition called the results “scandalous daylight robbery”, claiming an outright victory in the first round with 50.3% of the votes.[79] However, closer analysis of the opposition MDC’s own figures, as published on the party’s website at time, showed they had secured 49.1% of the vote and not the claimed requiste of +50% to avoid a run-off election.[80]

Mugabe’s run-off campaign was managed by Emerson Mnangagwa, a former security chief of the conflict of Gukurahundi.[77] The Washington Post asserts that the campaign of violence was bringing results to the ruling party, by crushing the opposition party MDC and coercion of its supporters. By 20 June 2008, the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights had “recorded 85 deaths in political violence since the first round of voting”.[81] News organizations report that, by the date of the second-round election, more than 80 opposition supporters had been killed, hundreds more were missing, in addition to thousands injured, and hundreds of thousands driven from their homes.[77]

Zimbabwean officials alleged that activists of the MDC, disguised as ZANU-PF members, had perpetrated violence against the population, mimicking the tactics of the Selous Scouts during the liberation struggle. They alleged that there was a “predominance” of Selous Scouts in the MDC.[82] The Sunday Mail published an article which claimed that former Selous Scouts were training MDC youth activists in violent tactics, at locations near Tswane (Pretoria) and Pietermaritzburg in South Africa.[83]

In addition, at least 100 officials and polling officers of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission were arrested after the first round election.[84][85]

Tsvangirai initially agreed to a presidential run-off with Robert Mugabe,[86] but later withdrew (on 22 June 2008), citing violence targeted at his campaign. He complained that the elections were pointless, as the outcome would be determined by Mugabe himself.[87]

The outcome of the run-off election

The run-off election was held on 27 June 2008, and Zimbabwe’s Electoral Commission released the results two days later. The official results showed that Mugabe had managed to double his votes since the first round, to 2,150,269 votes (85.5%), while his opponent Tsvangirai obtained only 233,000 (9.3%).[88] However Tsvangirai had pulled out previously because of widespread violence from the ZANU-PF’s forces. The violence includes beating, rape and others. Many voted because if they did not they could face violence against them. Although witnesses and election monitors had reported a low turnout in many areas of the country,[89] the official tally showed that the total vote had increased, from 2,497,265 votes in the first round[90] to 2,514,750 votes in the second round.[88]

Two legal opinions commissioned by the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC)[91] declared the run-off election illegal because it occurred outside the 21 day period within which it had to take place under Zimbabwean law. Under item 3(1)(b) of the Second Schedule of the Electoral Act, if no second election is held within 21 days of the first election, the candidate with the highest number of votes in the first election has been duly elected as President and must be declared as such. According to the figures released by Zimbabwe’s Electoral Commission, that would mean that Morgan Tsvangirai is the de jure President.

Mugabe’s inauguration to his sixth presidential term of office was a hastily arranged ceremony, convened barely an hour after the electoral commission declared his victory on 29 June 2008.[92] None of his fellow African heads of state were present at his inauguration; there were only family members, ministers, and security chiefs in the guests’ tent.[93]

The Zimbabwean military, and not President Robert Mugabe, is now running the troubled country, in the opinion of a South Africa-based NGO called the Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum (ZSF) – 10 Jul 2008.[94]

The United Kingdom announced a policy of seizing foreign assets belonging to Mugabe. Mugabe replied that he has no foreign assets to seize. HSBC proceeded to seize the bank account of Sam Mugabe, a 23-year-old British subject of Zimbabwean origin, no relation to Robert Mugabe. The HSBC bank which carried out the seizure of her account subsequently apologised.[95][96][97]

On 20 December, despite increased criticism and pressure to resign, Mugabe averred during ZANU-PF’s tenth annual conference in Bindura, some eighty kilometres north of Harare, that he would brook no such thing.[98]

Criticism and opposition

Example of foreign criticism: a demonstration against Mugabe’s regime next to the Zimbabwe embassy in London (Summer 2006).

Since 1998 Mugabe’s policies have increasingly elicited domestic and international denunciation. They have been denounced as racist againstZimbabwe’s white minority[99][100][101] Mugabe has described his critics as “born again colonialists”,[102][103] and both he and his supporters claim that Zimbabwe’s problems are the legacy of imperialism,[104] aggravated by Western economic meddling. According to The Herald, a Zimbabwean newspaper owned by the government, the U.K. is pursuing a policy of regime change.[95]

Mugabe’s critics accuse him of conducting a “reign of terror”[59][105] and being an “extremely poor role model” for the continent, whose “transgressions are unpardonable”.[106] In solidarity with the April 2007 general strike called by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), British Trades Union Congress General Secretary Brendan Barber said of Mugabe’s regime: ‘Zimbabwe’s people are suffering from Mugabe’s appalling economic mismanagement, corruption, and brutal repression. They are standing up for their rights, and we must stand with them.” Lela Kogbara, Chair of ACTSA (Action for Southern Africa) similarly has said: “As with every oppressive regime women and workers are left bearing the brunt. Please join us as we stand in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe in their struggle for peace, justice and freedom”.[107]

Robert Guest, the Africa editor for The Economist for seven years, argues that Mugabe is to blame for Zimbabwe’s economic freefall. “In 1980, the average annual income in Zimbabwe was US$950, and a Zimbabwean dollar was worth more than an American one. By 2003, the average income was less than US$400, and the Zimbabwean economy was in freefall.[108] “Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe for nearly three decades and has led it, in that time, from impressive success to the most dramatic peacetime collapse of any country since Weimar Germany“.[12]

In The Daily Telegraph, Mugabe was criticised for comparing himself to Hitler. Mugabe was quoted as saying “This Hitler has only one objective: justice for his people, sovereignty for his people, recognition of the independence of his people and their rights over their resources. If that is Hitler, then let me be a Hitler tenfold”.[109]

In recent years, Western governments have condemned Mugabe’s government. On 9 March 2003, U.S. President George W. Bush approved measures for economic sanctions to be levelled against Mugabe and other high-ranking Zimbabwe politicians, freezing their assets and barring Americans from engaging in any transactions or dealings with them. Justifying the move, Bush’s spokesman stated that the President and Congress believe that “the situation in Zimbabwe endangers the southern African region and threatens to undermine efforts to foster good governance and respect for the rule of law throughout the continent.” The bill was known as the Zimbabwe Democracy Act.[110]

In reaction to human rights violations in Zimbabwe, students at universities from which Mugabe has honorary doctorates have sought to get the degrees revoked. So far, the University of Edinburgh andUniversity of Massachusetts have stripped Mugabe of his honorary degree[111] after two years of campaigning from Edinburgh University Students’ Association. In addition, the student body at Michigan State University (ASMSU) unanimously passed a resolution calling for this. The issue is now being considered by the university.[112]

Mugabe’s office forbade the screening of the 2005 movie The Interpreter, claiming that it was propaganda by the CIA and fearing that it could incite hostility towards him.[113] In 2007, Parade magazine ranked Mugabe the 7th worst dictator in the world.[114] The same magazine ranked him worst dictator of the year 2009 two years later. [115]

An official from Chatham House suggested that Mugabe was unlikely to leave Zimbabwe, but that if he were to leave, he might go to Malaysia, where some believe that he has “stashed much of his wealth”.[116]

In response to Mugabe’s critics, former Zambian leader Kenneth Kaunda was quoted blaming not Mugabe for Zimbabwe’s troubles, but successive British governments.[117] He wrote in June 2007 that “leaders in the West say Robert Mugabe is a demon, that he has destroyed Zimbabwe and he must be got rid of– but this demonising is made by people who may not understand what Robert Gabriel Mugabe and his fellow freedom fighters went through”.[3] Similarly, Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, responded to his critics by saying that Zimbabwe’s problems are the legacy ofcolonialism.[118]

Mugabe’s supporters characterise him as a true Pan-Africanist and a dedicated anti-imperialist who stands strong against forces of imperialism in Africa. According to Mugabe’s supporters, the Western media are not objectively reporting on Zimbabwe, but are peddling falsehoods. Mugabe’s supporters accuse certain western governments of trying to eradicate pan-Africanism in order to deny real independence to African countries by imposing client regimes.[119]

The Times charged that on 12 June 2008, Mugabe’s Militia murdered Dadirai Chipiro, the wife of Mugabe’s political opponent, Patson Chipiro, by burning her alive with a petrol bomb after severing her hands and feet.[120]

Sanctions

After the start of the Fast Track land reform program in 2000, the US Senate put a credit freeze on the government of Zimbabwe, through the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001. Signed into law on 21 December 2001, ZDERA froze the Zimbabwean government’s lines of credit at international financial institutions through Section 4C, titled Multilateral Financing Restriction. This credit freeze forced the Zimbabwean government to operate on a cash only basis, and caused high inflation in 2001 to turn into hyperinflation in 2002 and beyond. It caused the first export deficit, the first big drop in tobacco exports, and a greater fall of the Zimbabwe dollar against the US dollar than in the previous 6 years, in the year 2002.

SEC. 4. SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY. (c) MULTILATERAL FINANCING RESTRICTION- … the Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States executive director to each international financial institution to oppose and vote against– (1) any extension by the respective institution of any loan, credit, or guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe; or (2) any cancellation or reduction of indebtedness owed by the Government of Zimbabwe to the United States or any international financial institution. [121]

ZDERA was sponsored by Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), and co-sponsored by then senators Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Russ Feingold and Jesse Helms. In 2010, Russ Feingold introduced a new law that would continue the credit freeze on Zimbabwe, called the Zimbabwe Transition to Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2010 (ZTDERA). Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) introduced the Zimbabwe Sanctions Repeal Act of 2010, specifically to repeal ZDERA through Section 2 article 26.[122]

Robert Mugabe visiting Vatican City in 2008, while in Rome for a UN Food Conference-a permitted exception from his travel ban.

After observers from the European Union were barred from examining Zimbabwe’s 2002 elections, the EU imposed sanctions on Mugabe and 94 members of his government, banning them from travelling to participating countries and freezing any assets held there. The United States instituted similar restrictions. The EU’s ban has a few loopholes, resulting in Mugabe taking a few trips into Europe despite the ban. Mugabe is permitted to travel to UN events within European and American borders.[123][124]

On 8 April 2005, Mugabe attended the funeral of Pope John Paul II, a move which could be seen as defiance of a European Union travel ban that does not, however, apply to Vatican City. He was granted a transit visa by the Italian authorities, as they are obliged to under the Concordat. However, the Catholic hierarchy in Zimbabwe have been very vocal against his rule and the senior Catholic cleric, Archbishop Pius Ncube is a major critic, even calling for Western governments to help in his overthrow.[125][126] Mugabe surprised Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, by shaking his hand during the service. Afterwards, the Prince’s office released a statement saying, “The Prince of Wales was caught by surprise and not in a position to avoid shaking Mr. Mugabe’s hand. The Prince finds the current Zimbabwean regime abhorrent. He has supported the Zimbabwe Defence and Aid Fund which works with those being oppressed by the regime. The Prince also recently met Pius Ncube, the Archbishop of Bulawayo, an outspoken critic of the government”.[127]

Robert Mugabe and senior members of the Harare government are not allowed to travel to the United States because it is the position of the US government that he has worked to undermine democracy in Zimbabwe and has restricted freedom of the press.[128] Despite strained political relations, the United States remains a leading provider of humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe, providing roughly US$900 million in humanitarian assistance from 2002–2008, mostly food aid.[129]

Because United Nations events are exempt from the travel bans, Mugabe attended the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) summit in Rome. African leaders threatened to boycott the event if Mugabe were blacklisted; when he was not, the United Kingdom refused to send a representative. British and Australian officials denounced the presence of Mugabe.[130][131]

Succession

Because Mugabe is one of Africa’s longest-lasting leaders, speculation has built over the years related to his succession.

In June 2005, a report that Mugabe had entered a hospital for tests on his heart fuelled rumours that he had died of a heart attack.[132] These reports were later dismissed by a Mugabe spokesman.

Joyce Mujuru, recently elevated to vice-president of ZANU-PF during the December 2004 party congress and considerably younger than Joseph Msika, the other vice-president, has been touted as a likely successor to Mugabe. Mujuru’s candidacy for the presidency is strengthened by the backing of her husband, Solomon Mujuru, who is the former head of the Zimbabwean army.

In October 2006, a report prepared by Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Economic Development acknowledged the lack of coordination among critical government departments in Zimbabwe and the overall lack of commitment to end the crisis. The report implied that the infighting in Zanu-PF over Mugabe’s successor was also hurting policy formulation and consistency in implementation.[133]

In late 2006, a plan was presented to postpone the next presidential election until 2010, at the same time as the next parliamentary election, thereby extending Mugabe’s term by two years. It was said that holding the two elections together would be a cost-saving measure,[134] but the plan was not approved: there were reportedly objections from some in ZANU-PF to the idea.

In March 2007, Mugabe said that he thought that the feeling was in favour of holding the two elections together in 2008 instead of 2010. He also said that he would be willing to run for re-election again if the party wanted him to do so.[135] Other leaders in southern Africa were rumoured to be less warm on the idea of extending his term to 2010.

On 30 March 2007, it was announced that the ZANU-PF central committee had chosen Mugabe as the party’s candidate for another term in 2008, that presidential terms would be shortened to five years, and that the parliamentary election would also be held in 2008.[136] Mugabe was chosen by acclamation as the party’s presidential candidate for 2008 by ZANU-PF delegates at a party conference on 13 December 2007.[137]

At Zanu-PF’s tenth annual conference in Bindura in December 2008, Mugabe spoke of his determination not to follow US president George W. Bush to his “political death”[138] and urged the party to ready itself for new polls. He also took the opportunity once more to cite Britain as the source of Zimbabwe’s woes.

At independence celebrations in Ghana in March 2007, South African President Thabo Mbeki was rumoured to have met with Mugabe in private and told him that “he was determined that South Africa’s hosting of the Football World Cup in 2010 should not be disrupted by controversial presidential elections in Zimbabwe”.[139]

As of 10 September 2010 there was considerable speculation that Mugabe was dying of cancer.[140][141][142] It is rumoured that his choice of successor would be Simba Makoni [4] These rumors were further validated in September of 2011 when WikiLeaks revealed that Mugabe’s close friend, Gideon Gono, revealed that Mugabe has prostate cancer that would likely kill him by 2013.[143][144]

SADC-facilitated government power-sharing agreement

On 11 September 2008, at the end of the fourth day of negotiations, South African President and mediator to ZimbabweThabo Mbeki, announced in Harare that Robert Mugabe of Zanu-PF, ProfessorArthur Mutambara and Morgan Tsvangirai (both of MDC) finally signed the power-sharing agreement – “memorandum of understanding.”[145] Mbeki stated: “An agreement has been reached on all items on the agenda … all of them [ Mugabe, Tsvangirai, Mutambara] endorsed the document tonight, and signed it. The formal signing will be done on Monday 10 am. The document will be released then. The ceremony will be attended by SADC and other African regional and continental leaders. The leaders will spend the next few days constituting the inclusive government to be announced on Monday. The leaders will work very hard to mobilise support for the people to recover. We hope the world will assist so that this political agreement succeeds.” In the signed historic power deal, Mugabe, on 11 September 2008 agreed to surrender day-to-day control of the government and the deal is also expected to result in a de facto amnesty for the military and Zanu-PF party leaders. Opposition sources said “Tsvangirai will become prime minister at the head of a council of ministers, the principal organ of government, drawn from his Movement for Democratic Change and the president’s Zanu-PF party; and Mugabe will remain president and continue to chair a cabinet that will be a largely consultative body, and the real power will lie with Tsvangirai.[146][147][148]

South Africa’s Business Day reported, however, that Mugabe was refusing to sign a deal which would curtail his presidential powers.[149] New York Times said Nelson Chamisa, a spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, announced: “This is an inclusive government. The executive power would be shared by the president, the prime minister and the cabinet. Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara have still not decided how to divide the ministries. But Jendayi E. Frazer, the American assistant secretary of state for African affairs, said: “We don’t know what’s on the table, and it’s hard to rally for an agreement when no one knows the details or even the broad outlines”[150]

On 15 September 2008, the leaders of the 14-member SADC witnessed the signing of the power-sharing agreement, brokered by South African leader Thabo Mbeki. With symbolic handshake and warm smiles at the Rainbow Towers hotel in Harare, Mugabe, Mutambara and Tsvangirai signed the deal to end violent political crisis provides. As provided, Robert Mugabe will be recognised as president, Morgan Tsvangirai will become prime minister,[151] the MDC will control the police, Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) will command the Army, and Arthur Mutambara becomes deputy prime minister.[152][153]

Violence, however, did not entirely subside with the power-sharing agreement. As the New Your Times reports, Mugabe’s top lieutenants started “trying to force the political opposition into granting them amnesty for their past crimes by abducting, detaining and torturing opposition officials and activists.” Dozens of members of the opposition and human rights activists have been abducted and tortured in the months since October 2008, including Roy Bennett, the opposition’s third-highest ranking official and Tsvangirai’s nominee for deputy agriculture minister (arrested just two days after Tsvangirai was sworn in as prime minister in 11 February 2009) and Chris Dhlamini, the opposition’s director of security.[154]

Honours and revocations

In 1994, Mugabe was appointed an honorary Knight Grand Cross in the Order of the Bath by Queen Elizabeth II.[155] This entitled him to use the postnominal letters GCB, but not to use the title “Sir.” In the United Kingdom, the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee called for the removal of this honour in 2003, and on 25 June 2008, Queen Elizabeth II cancelled and annulled the honorary knighthood after advice from the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom. “This action has been taken as a mark of revulsion at the abuse of human rights and abject disregard for the democratic process in Zimbabwe over which President Mugabe has presided”.[156]

Mugabe holds several honorary degrees and doctorates from international universities, awarded to him in the 1980s; at least three of these have since been revoked. In June 2007, he became the first international figure ever to be stripped of an honorary degree by a British university, when the University of Edinburgh withdrew the degree awarded to him in 1984.[157] On 12 June 2008, the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees voted to revoke the law degree awarded to Mugabe in 1986; this is the first time one of its honorary degrees has been revoked.[158] Similarly, on 12 September 2008,Michigan State University revoked an honorary law degree that it awarded Mugabe in 1990.[159]

Titles and honours of Robert Gabriel Mugabe
Title/Honour Awarding body/person Date of award Reason for award Date of revocation/loss of award Reason for revocation/loss
(Comment)
1 Comrade member ofZANU-PF
2 General Secretary ZANU-PF (date of appointment)
3 1st Executive President Constitution (date of constitutional amendment)
4 Knight Grand Cross in theOrder of the Bath Queen Elizabeth II 1994 “significant contributions” to relations between Britain and Zimbabwe[160] 25 June 2008 “The abuse of human rights and abject disregard for the democratic process in Zimbabwe over which President Mugabe has presided”[156]
5 Honorary LLDdegree University of Edinburgh 1984 “… honoured not only for his extraordinary intellectual discipline and energy but for those qualities of statesmanship which made him one of the great figures of modern Africa.”[161] June 2007 “The decision was taken after the university set up an academic panel to look at events between 1982 and 1984 in Matabeleland, where 20,000 people are thought to have died. The university has said that it knew nothing of the killings at the time of the award.”[157]
6 Honorary LLDdegree University of Massachusetts 1986 “Your gentle firmness in the face of anger, and your intellectual approach to matters which inflame the emotions of others, are hallmarks of your quiet integrity.” … “We salute you for your enduring and effective translation of a moral ethic into a strong, popular voice for freedom.”[162] June 2008 “Mugabe’s corrupt, repressive regime” was deemed “antithetical to the values and beliefs of the University of Massachusetts.” It is the first time the board has revoked an honorary degree.[158]
7 Honorary LLDdegree Michigan State University 1990 “… for his achievements as the president of Zimbabwe and for establishing a strong cooperative effort between MSU and the University of Zimbabwe.”[163] 12 September 2008 “…a pattern of human rights abuses.”[159]
8 Honorary LLDdegree Ahmadou Bello University[164]
9 Honorary LLDdegree Morehouse College[164]
10 Honorary LLDdegree University of Zimbabwe[164]
11 Honorary LLDdegree St. Augustine’s College[164]
12 Honorary LLDdegree Lomonosov Moscow State University[164]
13 Honorary LLDdegree Solusi University[164]
14 HonoraryD.Litt. degree Africa University[164]
15 Honorary D Civil Laws degree University of Mauritius[164]
16 HonoraryD.Com.degree University of Fort Hare[164]
17 HonoraryD.Tech.degree National University of Science and Technology[164]
18 Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger The Hunger Project[164] 1988 Mr. Mugabe’s agricultural programs “pointed the way not only for Zimbabwe but for the entire African continent.”[165] 8 August 2001 “The Hunger Project wishes to be on the record as deploring policies that have resulted in increased unemployment, poverty and hunger in Zimbabwe. This situation is inconsistent with the spirit of the Africa Prize for Leadership and Zimbabwe’s need to work for the sustainable end of hunger.”[166]
19 HonoraryOrder of Jamaica Government of Jamaica[164] 1996 “in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the fight for liberation and the overthrow of apartheid in Southern Africa, and his distinct leadership in the pursuit of freedom and human development throughout the African continent” Prime Minister Bruce Golding says Jamaica has no plan to strip President Robert Mugabe of the honorary award conferred on him in 1996, despite the ongoing political situation in Zimbabwe.

Personal life

His first wife, Sally Hayfron, died in 1992 from a chronic kidney ailment.[167] Their only son, Michael Nhamodzenyika Mugabe, born 27 September 1963, died on 26 December 1966 from cerebral malaria in Ghana where Sally was working while Mugabe was in prison. Sally Mugabe was a trained teacher who asserted her position as an independent political activist and campaigner[168] who was seen as Mugabe’s closest friend and advisor, and some critics suggest that Mugabe began to misrule Zimbabwe after her death.[12]

On 17 August 1996, Mugabe married his former secretary, Grace Marufu, 41 years his junior, with whom he already had two children; she first became pregnant by Mugabe while he was still married to his first wife, Sally, and while Grace was married to another man, Stanley Goreraza, now a diplomat in China.[169][170] Mugabe and Marufu were married in a Roman Catholic wedding Mass at Kutama College, a Catholic mission school he previously attended. Nelson Mandela and Mugabe’s two children by Grace were among the guests. The Mugabes have three children: Bona, Robert Peter Jr. (although Robert Mugabe’s middle name is Gabriel) and Bellarmine Chatunga.

As First Lady, Grace has been the subject of criticism for her lifestyle. Her sometimes lavish European shopping sprees have led to the nickname “Gucci Grace”. When she was included in the 2002 EU travel sanctions on her husband, one EU parliamentarian was quoted as saying that the ban “will stop Grace Mugabe going on her shopping trips in the face of catastrophic poverty blighting the people of Zimbabwe.”[171]

ROBBERIES OF THE CENTURY -THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY AND BEYOND

Here are some great documentary videos looking at 4 major heists of the 20th Centuary. The Great Train Robbery, Loomis Fargo, Security Express and the $200 million Gardner Museum art theft….

SCENE OF THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY 1963

LOOMIS FARGO ROBBERY SCENE – USA

FUGITIVE ROBBER – RONNIE KNIGHT SEEN HERE WITH FORMER LOVER BARBARA WINDSOR (ACTRESS)

HEADLINE NEWS REFERENCE THE $200 MILLION GARDER MUSEUM ART THEFT