Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said today that the passengers on a Libyan plane which was refused landing permission in Malta three days ago included pilots who intended to fly back to Libya two Mirage fighter aircraft brought here by defecting pilots.

He said a request by Libya for the planes to be returned had been denied and the planes were still here.

The request by their pilots for political asylum is still under consideration.

Dr Gonzi insisted that the plane that was denied landing permission did not carry Col Gaddafi's daughter, as widely reported in sections of the media.

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