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MALTA: Libyan ambassador claims he was a double agent

August 25, 2011 | 12:02 pm

Malta Libya's ambassador to Malta said he worked as a double agent in recent months, preventing the Kadafi regime from receiving resources and support and conveying infomation to rebel leaders.

Ambassador Saadun Suayeh told Malta Today that he is “relieved” to be able to finally talk about the covert role he played supporting the rebel effort against Moammar Kadafi during the last six months.

Suayeh said he stayed on as ambassador after the uprising started in February because of the access he had to upper-level intelligence and resources.

At one point, he said Kadafi's government sent two "diplomats" to visit him -- minders who would report back on him to the capital.

Suayeh said he had secret meetings with representatives of the Benghazi-based Transitional National Council, in which they "shared information and worked on strategies on the way forward," he told the Malta Today reporter.

The ambassador said he never met the two Libyan air force volonels who flew their Mirage fighter jets to Malta last February, defecting from Kadafi's forces.

When officials in Tripoli pressured him to aid their fight against the rebels by helping to get the jets released and other resources back to Libya, Suayeh said he stalled.

“I would receive [messages] from Tripoli pressuring my embassy to have the Mirage fighter jets released by Malta, while other messages were regarding ships laden with gasoil for the forces,” he said.

Instead of responding to the requests, Suayeh said he would forward the information to the Maltese government, which would intervene to stop the cargo, or share the intelligence with other countries.

While protesters gathered outside his embassy, Suayeh said he was quietly assisting rebels, sending money, buying plane tickets and offering advice.

Suayeh now flies the flag of the new rebel government, which he said he is proud to represent.

“I am excited at this important historical moment for my people, who have managed to launch a revolution that is as big as the French revolution, and with the fall of Bab Azizia [Kadafi's stronghold in Tripoli], it’s just like living the fall of Bastille,” he said.


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LIBYA: Kadafi spokesman says strongman remains in Libya

--Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Photo: Libyans in Malta celebrate after hoisting the rebel flag on the roof of the residence of the Libyan ambassador to Malta, Saadun Suayeh. Credit: Darrin Zammit Lupi / Reuters