Gaddafi's son flies into Kenya and into a temper after his hunting ban

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Although Kenya's tourism industry is in trouble, there is one wealthy visitor the country has been glad to see the back off. Al Saadi Gaddafi's brief holiday in the East African nation brought chaos from the slopes of Mt Kenya to the skies above Nairobi.

Al Saadi, right, the third-eldest son of the Libyan President, arrived at the end of January with a modest entourage of 50 businessmen in a private jet. The party then hired helicopters to take them to their hotel to avoid Nairobi's notorious traffic.

But the Libyans are also said to have brought in firearms. An official told The Standard, that they were not allowed to examine the plane. Al Saadi, who had a one-match career as a footballer with Italian side Perugia, had at least one hunting rifle with him and demanded to use it to hunt in the Maasai Mara game reserve. A member of Kenya's Wildlife Service told him hunting has been banned in the reserve since 1977. Al Saadi is said to have thrown a "tantrum".

Libyan involvement in Kenya has been causing unease since the surprise sale of a Nairobi hotel last year. A Libyan state company bought the Grand Regency for a fraction of its commercial value, prompting an investigation which dragged in the central bank governor and the finance minister, Amos Kimunya.

Last year, Al Saadi's younger brother Hannibal caused a diplomatic row with Switzerland after being accused of assaulting his staff at a hotel in Geneva. He was charged with assault but left the country after posting bail.