Close relatives of Libya’s slain leader Muammar Gaddafi came to Malta to offer bribes to the Armed Forces of Malta in order to purchase jet fuel, a long-time confidant of former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed.
In an e-mail sent to Ms Clinton on March 11, 2011, the confidant, Sidney Blumenthal, outlined developments in Libya and Bahrain during the uprisings in the two countries.
In the e-mail, labelled ‘confidential’, Mr Blumenthal told Ms Clinton he was informed that Col Gaddafi’s relatives were attempting to get their hands on jet fuel by offering bribes to the AFM.
“At this moment, at the Hilton Hotel at Malta, one of Gaddafi’s cousins is meeting with officers of the Malta Air Force offering bribes to purchase jet fuel from Malta. Gaddafi’s planes have virtually run out of high-quality jet fuel,” Mr Blumenthal wrote.
E-mail exchanges between Ms Clinton and people close to her were made available by the US State Department as a result of a Freedom of Information request and published by WikiLeaks – an international organisation that publishes confidential USdiplomatic cables in the nameof transparency.
The Armed Forces of Malta has no information on the case described
The e-mail, with the subject line ‘H: Dramatic new Libya & Bahrain developments. Sid’, is one of 30,322 e-mails and e-mail attachments sent to and from Ms Clinton’s private e-mail server while she was Secretary of State.
The 50,547 pages of documents span from June 30, 2010 to August 12, 2014.
Contacted about the claims and asked whether these had ever been investigated, a spokesman for the AFM said that “the Armed Forces of Malta has no information on the case described”.
The Home Affairs Ministry said that questions on the matter should be addressed to “the government of that time”. Carm Mifsud Bonnici, who was Home Affairs Minister in 2011, today said he did not recall any information about the matter.
"At the time I was not responsible for the AFM but I had several other complications brought about by the civil war in Libya."
At the time that the e-mail was sent to Ms Clinton, it had been reported that a UN Deputy Permanent Representative of Libya to the United Nations, Ibrahim Dabashi, had informed the Maltese ambassador in New York that a Libyan national was trying to procure aviation fuel in Malta.
The government said that no such requests had been madeto Enemalta.
In the same e-mail, Mr Blumenthal also informed Ms Clinton that a Libyan bomber pilot had crashed his plane on toCol Gaddafi’s Bab-Azizya compound headquarters.
“One, if not two, of Qaddafi’s sons have been confirmed badly hit. One may be transported to a hospital in Malta,” Mr Blumenthal went on.