Last Update 10:15
Prostitution trial linked to Gaddafi son opens in France
Two men and a woman are accused of organising a birthday party for one of Gaddafi's sons Mutassim in 2004 with links to a Cannes Film Festival high-end prostitution ring
AFP , Monday 22 Oct 2012
Share/Bookmark
Views: 349

Two men and a woman appeared in a French court Monday in a case over a Cannes Film Festival high-end prostitution ring that had ties to a son of slain Libyan dictator Moamer Gaddafi.

Seven men and a woman went on trial in the southern port city of Marseille, though the five chief figures are on the run and are being tried in absentia.

They include Elie Nahas, a Lebanese who claimed to run a modelling agency employing young women recruited in South America, France and eastern Europe.

The three who turned up in court were: an alleged escort girl from Cannes, Sabrina Samari, who has admitted to procuring women; a Venezuelan named Felix Farias who worked for a branch of Nahas's agency; and a Lebanese driver, Antoine El Khoury.

Nahas is accused of organising a birthday bash for one of Gaddafi's sons Mutassim in 2004 costing $1.5 million (1.1 million euros) with several stars and about 20 models in attendance.

Mutassim Gaddafi was killed with his father on October 20 last year. Investigators never questioned the son.

Nahas also caused a scandal in 2007 when he turned up at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport with eight young women, one of whom was a minor, to attend the Cannes Film Festival. They were refused entry.

They were due to stay in a 136-metre-long luxury yacht "La Savarona" which had been rented for 350,000 euros a week.

Wiretapped telephone conversations from the time showed the involvement of four Lebanese nationals, a Venezuelan and two escort girls from Cannes in an alleged prostitution ring, whose clients were rich men from the Middle East.

"Those really responsible are absent or have fled," said Franck De Vita, the lawyer for Samari.

According to Patrick Rizzo, lawyer for an anti-procuring charity that is a civil party to the trial, it was "the political context" in 2007 and 2008 that hampered the legal investigation.

"Colonel Gaddafi was received at the Elysee (French presidential palace) at the time, he was France's good friend," Rizzo said.

"All this context did not favour international investigations."

The inquiry established that young women of various nationalities including models, beauty queens and escort girls, were recruited, especially during the Cannes film festival for clients from the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait ready to pay thousands of dollars for their services.





Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 4000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online. Advertising