Libya, Bahrain and the London School of Economics

This video from Canada is called Victor Phillip Dahdaleh presents Bill Clinton with an Honorary Degree at McGill University – Part 2.

From MercoPress news agency:

Saturday, October 29th 2011 – 03:19 UTC

London School of Economics tarnished by links with the Gaddafi family

London School of Economics (LSE), one of the most renowned branches of the University of London, is currently making news due to the activities of a couple of its more infamous, rather than famous, alumni – one of them named Gaddafi.

On Monday, Victor Dahdaleh, a former LSE student and businessman whose fundraising earned him a place as one of the school’s governors, will appear in a London courtroom on bribery charges brought by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

The charges relate to bribes Dahdaleh allegedly paid to officials of Aluminium Bahrain BSC., a smelting company whose majority owner is the Bahrain government. On Friday the SFO confirmed a Financial Times report that one allegation is that Sheikh Isa bin Ali al-Khalifa, an advisor to Bahrain‘s prime minister received nearly 6 million dollars in bribes from Dahdaleh in 2003-2004.

Following Dahdaleh’s arrest earlier this week, LSE said that it was reconsidering Dahdaleh’s position as a school governor.

Meanwhile, LSE is also awaiting, with trepidation, results of two parallel investigations into the school’s dealings with Libya and with Saif al Islam Gaddafi, one time heir-apparent to his late father, Muammar and holder of a doctorate awarded by LSE in 2008.

Lord Harry Woolf, a former Chief Justice of England and Wales, was hired by LSE in March to investigate several aspects of the school’s dealings with Gaddafi‘s Libya.

Issues under scrutiny included LSE’s agreement to accept a 1.5 million pounds donation to a school think tank on Global Governance from a Gaddafi family charity; the agreement of an LSE commercial affiliate to a 2.2 million pound contract with Libya‘s economic development board to train Libyan civil servants, and the school’s acceptance of a 50.000 dollars donation in return for advice LSE director Sir Howard Davies gave to Libya‘s sovereign wealth fund in 2007.

A related investigation is being conducted by the University of London into allegations of “ghost-writing” and plagiarism in the production of Saif al Islam ‘s PhD thesis.

The thesis is entitled “The role of civil society in the democratization of global governance institutions: from ‘soft power’ to collective decision-making”. It helped build Saif al Islam’s reputation as a potentially enlightened successor to his eccentric father.

Saif al Islam certified that the thesis “is solely my own work other than where I have clearly indicated that it is the work of others.” But allegations later surfaced that he had been aided by a ghost-writer and had copied passages of his dissertation from other people’s work.

The school said in March that “no formal allegations had been made as to academic misconduct until the events of recent weeks.” But now there are detailed postings on the internet highlighting portions of Saif al Islam’s dissertation which he allegedly purloined.

Lord Woolf posted an announcement earlier this month on the internet saying he had finished his investigation and had submitted a report to university authorities, which he hoped would be “published as early as possible.” School officials expect Woolf’s report will contain criticisms, perhaps harsh ones, of LSE’s handling of its contacts and dealings with Libya and the Gaddafis.

Until now Dahdaleh had been very active in supporting and raising funds for LSE and its activities. His official on-line biography describes him as an LSE governor, a “leading donor” to the school, and a member of its “Fundraising Campaign Committee.” Dahdaleh also described himself as “honorary president and chairman of the advisory board” of an LSE affiliate called LSE Global Governance, a research outfit which claimed to have “pioneered research into globalization.”

LSE Global Governance was also one of the main intended recipients at LSE of money from something called the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation. Although it initially agreed to accept 1.5 million pounds from the Gaddafi charity, however, in the end only 300,000 pounds were actually received.

One of LSE’s most awkward interactions with the Gaddafis occurred in May 2010 when Saif al Islam was invited to speak on “Libya, Past, Present and Future,” as part of a lecture series dedicated to the memory of Ralph Miliband, a renowned left-wing LSE academic who died in 1994.

Miliband’s son Ed now leads Britain’s opposition Labour Party; Ed’s brother, David, served as Britain’s foreign secretary under Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

From Reuters on the LSE:

One of its founders was George Bernard Shaw, its professors have included Friedrich von Hayek and Bertrand Russell and among notable former students are John F. Kennedy and the current Greek prime minister.

Bahrain: Teacher leaders under threat of torture: here.

Bahrain Propaganda 101: Foreign Minister Gets a Boost from Washington’s Journalists: here.

Bahrain’s authorities, with help from their Saudi neighbours have systematically hunted down, imprisoned and reportedly tortured bloggers and freedom of expression activists who participated in pro-reform demonstrations earlier in the year: here.

In Rubble-Strewn Sitra, Faces of the Young Foretell a Grim Future for Bahrain: here.

Bahrain Feature: February 14 Coalition launches “Freedom Torch” rallies across villages: here.

Dozens of Bahraini protesters lose their eyes due to the continued use of excessive force by the security forces: here.

Documents found in the abandoned residence of the British ambassador in Tripoli reveal the extent of the British government’s intimate relationships with the former Gaddafi government in Libya: here.

THE African Union has come under fire from Pan African Parliament for failure to stamp its authority in stopping Nato from bombarding Libya: here.

Africa has lost its righteous anger. As we talk of Muammar Gaddafi as a dictator and celebrate his demise as a rat or mongrel dog, we forget how Nato, a military alliance of America and European nations mob-invaded a single African country, to kill its leader and plunder its enormous oil reserves. What a shame: here.

Militias from the city of Misrata are terrorizing the displaced residents of the nearby town of Tawergha, accusing them of having committed atrocities with Gaddafi forces in Misrata, Human Rights Watch said today. The entire town of 30,000 people is abandoned – some of it ransacked and burned – and Misrata brigade commanders say the residents of Tawergha should never return: here.

Suleyman and Rasool have come to the University of Bani Walid, in western Libya. If they are lucky they might find some chemistry notes and, perhaps, a computer that works. Unfortunately it is not likely, since NATO reduced the campus to rubble: here.

West Sees Libya as Opportunity for Businesses: here.

Peace campaigners launched an attack on a senior defence source today after they boasted to a newspaper that RAF involvement in Nato’s Libya intervention has provided “a shop window” for British arms firms: here.

NATO formally ended its seven-month predatory war against Libya at midnight Monday, having achieved its aim of regime change and opened up the country to unrestrained exploitation of its huge energy resources by Western oil companies: here.

New Libyan prime minister installed by NATO-backed regime: here.

An American model who has appeared in ads for Calvin Klein, Giorgio Armani and L’Oreal lost her biggest client Monday after she defended boyfriend Mutassim Gadhafi and the Gadhafi family in an interview with Italian media: here.

12 thoughts on “Libya, Bahrain and the London School of Economics

  1. UK charges businessman with Bahrain bribery

    By: The Associated Press | 10/28/11 6:13 AM

    British authorities have charged a London-based businessman with bribing officials at Bahrain’s state-owned aluminum manufacturer, including a prominent member of the country’s royal family.

    The Serious Fraud Office says Victor Dahdaleh is charged with corruption over contracts with U.S.-based Alcoa Inc., for shipments of the raw material alumina to Bahrain from Australia.

    The alleged offenses took place between 2001 and 2005.

    The fraud office confirmed Friday that Sheik Isa bin Ali al-Khalifa, son-in-law of Bahrain’s prime minister, is named as an alleged recipient of corrupt payments. Spokesman David Jones said wrongdoing by any Bahraini nationals “would be a matter for the Bahraini authorities to consider.”

    Dahdaleh is due to appear in a London court Monday.


  2. Billionaire businessman granted bail in bribe case

    Associated Press

    2011-11-01 12:14 AM

    A billionaire businessman accused of bribing officials in Bahrain, including a prominent member of the country’s royal family, was granted bail Monday by a British court in exchange for a 10 million pounds ($16 million) security bond.

    Victor Dahdaleh, 68, who is British and Canadian, is charged with corruption offenses related to contracts between Bahrain’s state-owned aluminum manufacturer and the U.S.-based Alcoa Inc.

    Prosecutors alleged that the offense, linked to payments for the shipments of the raw material alumina to Bahrain from Australia, took place between 2001 and 2005.

    District Judge Quentin Purdy told Dahdaleh he would be granted bail until an appearance at London’s Southwark Crown Court on Jan. 13.

    He ordered Dahdaleh to post 10 million pounds in security and said he must observe a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew at his central London home.

    Friends and relatives of the billionaire, including senior executives from Credit Suisse and oil giant BP, also agreed to offer 1.42 million pounds (US$2.3 million) in sureties.

    Dahdaleh is the chairman and owner of metals and chemicals firm Dadco and a trustee of the Clinton Foundation. He also has had close ties to Britain’s Labour Party.

    Britain’s Serious Fraud Office said he is alleged to have offered corrupt payments to Sheik Isa bin Ali al-Khalifa, son-in-law of Bahrain’s prime minister. The office confirmed that an investigation begun in 2009 had involved the U.S. Department of Justice and authorities in Switzerland.

    Dahdaleh has not entered a plea, but in a statement issued through his lawyers denied any wrongdoing and promised to “vigorously contest” the allegations.

    The businessman has surrendered his British and Canadian passports, and Purdy ordered him not to attempt to leave Britain before his next court appearance.


  3. Tripoli militias in hospital firefight

    LIBYA: A gunfight broke out between forces loyal to the new Western-backed regime outside Tripoli’s main hospital on Monday morning, leaving seven dead including a bystander.

    Doctors at Mitiga Hospital reported that trouble flared when militiamen from Zintan who had earlier shot a man demanded entry to the hospital to kill him.

    One of the group began firing after they were told to leave.

    A brigade of gunmen from Tripoli waded in to protect the doctors, sparking a fierce clash.


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