Moussa Koussa, one of Libyan leader Col. Moammer Gaddafi’s longest serving aides and the regime’s most prominent defector, has been staying at the Four Seasons Hotel in Doha since April, the Telegraph reports.
Who is paying for Koussa’s extended stay is unclear, but his presence at the luxury hotel has infuriated many Libyans who say Koussa should be on trial at the International Criminal Court.
“It makes me sick to think of Koussa swanning around the Four Seasons,” one Libyan who helped set up Al-Hurra, the Free Libya radio station based in Qatar, told the Telegraph. “He has so much blood on his hands.”
According to the UK-based newspaper:
He eats regularly from the £35 all-you-can-eat buffet, though he is also said to have a liking for the expensive Il Teatro Italian restaurant.
Both have views over the hotel’s swimming pools and private beach, and the yacht marina next door.
It is not clear who is paying. He was originally a guest of the Qatari government, but he also had his private assets unfrozen as a reward for defecting. He occasionally relaxes in the lobby, accompanied always by one of a number of men who are clearly intelligence minders – they are dressed in Western style in jeans and T-shirts, and work on iPads.
When The Daily Telegraph approached to request an interview, a minder snapped his fingers, and within seconds a group of kandoura-wearing Qataris on duty in the lobby formed a protective shield.
“I am a little too busy to talk now,” Mr Koussa said. He had previously been reading a newspaper.
Qatar has long held a controversial open-door policy for exiles, including family members of Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussain.
But souring relations with high-profile visitors can damage Qatar’s reputation on the international stage, as seen in the case of Eman al Obeidy.
Any predictions for how long Moussa Koussa will be staying in Qatar?