Libya paid ransom for Sahara captives

Libya paid a ransom of five million euros (around $5 million) “on its own initiative” to the abductors of 14 European hostages who were released this week after being held for more than five months in the Sahara desert.

    One German hostage died in captivity from heat stroke

    The money passed “neither through Malian nor German hands”, according to diplomats in Mali on Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    The freed hostages, from Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, returned home on Wednesday.

    The money was paid to the abductors’ leader through an intermediary chosen by Tripoli, said diplomats, without naming the go-between or stating where or when the transactions occurred.

    Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure had cited Libya as being among the countries that assisted in resolving the crisis when the nine Germans, four Swiss and one Dutch national were delivered to officials from their home countries at a ceremony on Tuesday in Bamako.

    German Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Juergen Chrobog did not mention Libya, thanking the governments of Algeria, Niger and Mali.

    Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, a son of Libyan leader Moammer Qaddafi, was quoted earlier this week by a German daily as saying that Tripoli had intervened in the crisis through the Qaddafi Foundation, which he heads.

    The Foundation also mediated in the freeing of European hostages held on the Philippines’ Jolo island three years ago.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.