Oman, a British ally in the Gulf, has offered refuge to close relations of Muammar Gaddafi, including his wife and a hated playboy son, officials from Tripoli and Muscat disclosed on Monday.
Safia Gaddafi, the dictator’s widow, and three of his children left a hideaway in Algeria last October, more than a year after they crossed the border from Libya. Mohammad Abdulaziz, Libya’s foreign minister, said the group had accepted political asylum from Oman and conceded it was difficult to foresee their return to Libya, where several face criminal charges.
The group includes Gaddafi’s daughter Aisha, a lawyer who made headlines around the world with her campaigns on behalf of Saddam Hussein, and the dictator’s notorious son Hannibal, who is wanted for alleged human rights abuses by the authorities in Tripoli. Another son, Mohammad, was the head of the Libyan Olympic committee, but is not associated with the worst excesses of the regime.
An Oman official confirmed that the state had accepted ‘those members of the family who escaped Libya before Gaddafi was killed” in his home town, Sirte, in October 2011. “Gaddafi’s wife, two sons and a daughter, as well as their children have been in Oman since October last year,” an Omani government official said. “We have already accepted their request for asylum provided they don’t engage in political activities