'Muammar Gaddafi is poor and honest'

Libyan leader and family have not helped themselves to country's oil wealth and are "among the poorest citizens," says spokesman.

September 25, 2011 23:43
1 minute read.
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Muammar Gaddafi 521. (photo credit: Reuters)

TRIPOLI - Muammar Gaddafi's chief spokesman said on Sunday the deposed Libyan leader and his family had not helped themselves to Libya's oil wealth and that they were "among the poorest citizens."

Speaking to Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location, Moussa Ibrahim said no one had been able to show that Gaddafi or his family had assets or accounts.

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"That is more proof of the honesty and transparency of this family and that they are an ordinary Libyan family," said Ibrahim, who usually acts as Gaddafi's contact with the international media.

Gaddafi has been in hiding since fighters trying to end his 42-year rule seized control of the capital last month.

The Gaddafi family are widely known to have led lavish lives.

Singer Nelly Furtado disclosed she was paid $1 million to perform a 45-minute private concert for Gaddafi family members in Italy while Mariah Carey and Beyonce Knowles were booked to play at other family functions.

Switzerland said in May that it had found 360 million Swiss francs ($415.8 million) of potentially illegal assets linked to Gaddafi and his circle stashed in the Alpine country.

British newspapers reported that Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam owns a house in London worth $19 million with nine bedrooms, a swimming pool and a cinema.

"The leader of the revolution and his family are among the poorest citizens," Ibrahim said. "All the wealth of Libya is traceable to functioning companies and institutions".

Ibrahim has often, in the past, been instructed by Gaddafi to issue statements to the international media.

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