Cairo: Egyptian police arrested on Tuesday Muammar Gaddafi’s cousin Ahmad Gaddaf Al Dam, wanted in Libya for his role in the regime of the slain Libyan strongman, Egyptian officials said.
Egypt’s prosecutor-general ordered Gaddaf Al Dam’s detention for 30 days pending investigation into “several charges,” a security official said without elaborating.
Gaddaf Al Dam surrendered hours after his bodyguards traded fire with policemen who tried to enter his apartment, an aide said. Police then escorted Gaddafi’s former special envoy to the public prosecutor’s office.
Reached on his mobile telephone, he sought to play down the arrest, however, and said he would file a complaint with the Egyptian public prosecutor and Libyan authorities.
“I am on my way now, in the company of lawyers,” he said before arriving at the prosecutor’s office.
A Libyan embassy official told AFP Gaddaf Al Dam had surrendered after the consul met him in his apartment and told him “there is no escape”. His bodyguards were Libyan and Palestinian, the official said.
A security official and state television said Gaddaf Al Dam gave himself up to police after they besieged his home. The official Mena news agency said he would be handed over to the Libyan authorities, who want to put him on trial.
Another official at the Libyan embassy told AFP the authorities had also arrested two other figures, former Libyan ambassador Ali Maria and Mohammad Ebrahim, the brother of senior Gaddafi-era Libyan official Ahmad Ebrahim.
“This is part of a plan by the Libyan authorities in coordination with Egyptian authorities to arrest wanted Libyans living in Egypt,” said Abdul Hamid Al Safi.
It was not immediately clear whether Gaddaf Al Dam, whose mother was Egyptian, carried Egyptian nationality, which could complicate his transfer to Libya to stand trial.
A Libyan embassy official said he was certain Gaddaf Al Dam was not an Egyptian citizen before the 2011 uprising in which Moamer Kadhafi was toppled and killed. But his nephew said he carried with him an Egyptian national identity card.
Shortly after the start of the uprising, Gaddaf Al Dam had announced he had resigned from all official functions.
Until then, Gaddaf Al Dam, who had permanent residence in Cairo, oversaw Libya’s relations with Egypt.
Residents of Zamalek said they had heard gunfire overnight.
Gaddaf Al Dam’s nephew and aide said that “masked men” had tried to storm the apartment at 2am.
“His bodyguards fired at them and there was an exchange of fire,” he said from the prosecutor’s office where Qaddaf al-Dam was being questioned. The nephew requested anonymity for fear of reprisals.
Speaking to French satellite channel France 24, Gaddaf Al Dam said several people had been injured during the shooting.