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March 2 - 8 2011
μWorld News PAGES 15-17
μComment PAGES 18-21
μObituaries PAGES 22-23
μExpat Life PAGES 30-32
Back to school The Royal couple pay a return visit to St Andrews university
Victory for pasty purists Cornwall’s pasty makers win battle for EU protection
WORLD NEWS P16
Christchurch quake State of emergency declared amid scenes of devastation
Reach for the sky Neil Tweedie takes a trip up the Shard, London’s tallest building
8 1 15 21 31 39 6 8 20 29 34 36
Bonus Ball 32
Bonus Ball 43
There were two winners of Wednesday’s £7.7m jackpot but no one won Saturday’s £4.7m prize
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Libya latest Go online for breaking news and up-to-the-minute analysis telegraph.co.uk/world
By Rosa Prince, and Richard Spencer in Cairo COL MUAMMAR GADDAFI’S hold on power was nearing its end on Sunday night as Libyan rebels closed in on his Tripoli stronghold, and Britain gave him pariah status by freezing his family’s assets and withdrawing their diplomatic immunity.
David Cameron urged Col Gaddafi to “go now”, telling him there was “no future for Libya that includes him”.
A last-gasp attempt by the Libyan leader to prop up his fragile regime with foreign mercenaries was blocked when the Treasury discovered he had ordered fresh money from a British firm that has a contract to print Libyan currency.
The stash of dinars, valued at £900million, was being held in a secure warehouse in the North East, after the Government banned its removal.
Members of the Privy Council, including George Osborne, the Chancellor, approved the seizure of assets deposited by the Gaddafi family and members of the Libyan regime. Up to £20 billion in liquid assets, including bank accounts and commercial property, is said to be invested in London.
Those subject to the assetfreezing order are Col Gaddafi, his sons Saif alIslam, Hannibal, Khamis and Mutassim, and daughter Aisha.
Col Gaddafi, his children and his servants have also been stripped of their diplomatic immunity from prosecution should they appear in Britain.
The United Nations Security Council has imposed an arms embargo and started a war crimes investigation.
The moves effectively made the Libyan leader an international pariah and left him with few options should he try to flee. On another day of dramatic developments: ŠIn Benghazi, Libya’s second biggest city, the interior minister, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, who defected a week ago, said he was heading a provisional “national council” that would oversee elections in three months. ŠCol Gaddafi’s grip on power appeared increasingly precarious, as rebels consolidated their hold on the town of Zawiyah, 30 miles outside of Tripoli. ŠHMS Cumberland departed the port of Benghazi with a number of expats on board.
Dr Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary, said: “HMS Cumberland has set sail for Malta after making a second visit to the port of Benghazi where she recovered around 200 civilians from various nations, including around 50 British nationals.”
With the closure of the British embassy and the suspension of Foreign Office rescue flights, the Turkish Embassy in Tripoli has now taken over consular responsibility for any remaining Britons, with one member of staff, Lauren Johnstone, the proconsul, remaining.
William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said: “We have here a country descending into
A man holding a sign that reads ‘Our demand: freedom’ on an army tank in the town of Zawiyah, which has fallen to anti-Gaddafi rebels civil war, with atrocious scenes of killing of protesters, and a government actually making war on its own, so of course it is time for Col Gaddafi to go. That is the best hope for Libya.”
The United Nations Security Council has already voted unanimously to refer the brutal repression of the popular uprising to the International Criminal Court and trigger sanctions against Col Gaddafi’s regime.
Within hours, the Treasury took steps to freeze the assets. Mr Osborne said: “I have taken action to freeze the assets in the UK of Col Gaddafi and his family or those acting on their behalf so that they cannot be used against the interests of the
Libyan people.” All “funds, financial assets and economic resources owned or controlled by the listed individuals and entities, or by anyone acting on their behalf” were frozen.
Separately, the Department for Business signed an order under the Export Control Act 2002 to prohibit the export of uncirculated Libyan banknotes.
Mr Osborne is understood to have asked the printing firm to delay dispatching the £900million in dinar after previously being tipped off about the order. The Libyans were told that no transport was available to dispatch the cash. When the regime offered to send a plane, officials further stalled the delivery.
In America, President Barack Obama blocked the transfer of funds to the Gaddafi family, revoked its diplomatic immunity and severed military ties.
The UN resolution was rejected, however, by Col Gaddafi as “null and void”. He said: “The people of Libya support me, small groups of rebels are surrounded and will be dealt with.”
His son, Saif al-Islam, who owns a £9million house in London, denied that the family had large sums hidden abroad. “We are a very modest family and everybody knows that,” he said.
His brother Saadi, a former footballer, said his lawyers would challenge the travel ban, complaining it interrupted his hobbies of “hunting and going on safari”.
Comment: Pages 18 and 19
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assessing how best to proceed with the rescue mission.
The Telegraph has learnt that after the British embassy temporarily suspended operations last Friday, Special Forces operatives set about destroying a large number of top secret documents within the building. As the security situation deteriorated across Libya and the threat to British oil workers intensified, the Government gave the go-ahead to run an airborne rescue mission. With an area four times the size of Britain to search, the Special Forces units had to rely heavily on intelligence gathered by the Foreign Office, which had been appealing all week for trapped Britons to get in contact.
The extraction teams moved into the desert oil facility of Nafoora before splitting up and heading to Amal and Wafa. They collected about 150 oil workers and escorted them towards two airfields south of the rebel-held city of Benghazi.
The airfields had already been secured by militia opposed to Col Muammar Gaddafi and private security personnel working for international oil companies.
Last Saturday afternoon, without the permission of the Libyan authorities, two Hercules transport planes took off from Malta for the 40-minute flight to Libya.
It is understood the aircraft belonged to RAF 47 squadron, which supports Special Forces missions around the world.
The units were in a race against time to get the oil workers on board and leave the area before armed gangs, responsible for looting millions of pounds of equipment, were made aware of what was going on.
One of the rescued Britons reported the flights taking off amid gunfire from the ground.
Nigel Bilton, from Lincoln, who had been working for the company Siemens in southern Libya, said: “While we sat on the aircraft, there were reports of gunfire and all of a sudden another 20 or 30 guys were stuffed on the aircraft. I think things were starting to hot up.”
Once back in Malta, the civilians were given food, water and medical attention where necessary and put up in a hotel overnight.
On Sunday, the British workers joined some of those who had been evacuated by the frigate HMS Cumberland to be flown back to Britain, landing at Gatwick airport at about 5pm.
On Sunday night, HMS
Cumberland, which had returned to Benghazi again, set sail with around 200 passengers from various nations, heading towards Valetta, the capital of Malta.
The Foreign Office was still appealing for anyone trapped to contact them either directly or through their families in Britain.
A convoy of coaches, supported by private security guards, was expected to arrive in Cairo on Monday.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “We believe that the vast majority of British nationals who want to leave have now left Libya, through commercial means, government charters and military evacuations. Small residue numbers remain.
“Where we identify those who want to leave we will take measures available to assist them.”
Matthew d’Ancona: Page 20