UK

Colonel Gaddafi Would Not Handle Letters Due To Security Fears

26/06/2013 13:15 BST | Updated 26/06/2013 13:23 BST

Former Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi would only handle copies of letters for "security reasons", a High Court judge heard on Wednesday. A Jordanian businesswoman involved in selling an airliner to Colonel Gaddafi told Mr Justice Peter Smith - at a High Court hearing in London - that the "President" would not touch the ink on originals.

Consultant Daad Sharab is embroiled in a multi-million High Court fight in London with a member of the Saudi royal family over the sale of an Airbus to Colonel Gaddafi. Sharab claims that Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud - who owns The Savoy hotel in London - owes her about £6.5 million commission for the part she played in the deal.

She says Prince Al-Waleed agreed to pay the commission in 2005 following a meeting in Colonel Gaddafi's tent in Libya. Prince Al-Waleed - who has an estimated fortune of more than £12 billion and is one of the world's richest men - disputes her claim and denies that any agreement was made for a ''specific commission''.

Sharab says she was ''extensively involved'' in selling Prince Al-Waleed's Airbus to Colonel Gaddafi - who was killed in 2011 - and had made ''numerous'' visits to Libya, he added. She said she delivered letters from Prince Al-Waleed to Colonel Gaddafi - but they had to be copied before the Libyan leader would deal with them.

"The Prince would give me letters for the President which I was responsible for hand delivering," said told the judge, in a written witness statement. However for security reasons, the President would not handle the ink on original correspondence."

Prince Al-Waleed is expected to give evidence next week - the hearing is scheduled to last six days.

The hearing continues.