We have laws where Canadians join Terror Orgs overseas can be prosecuted. Is there any difference for this or is there??
The Ontario man who helped Muammar Gaddafi's son Saadi flee Libya | News | National Post
Gary Peters offered security contractors $1,000 a day to help transport Saadi Gaddafi out of Libya | News | National Post
A private security contractor and former soldier from Canada has admitted he helped Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saadi flee Libya last month as Tripoli was falling to anti-Gaddafi rebels.
Gary Peters is president of Can/Aus Security & Investigations International Inc. in Cambridge, Ont. He is also Saadi Gaddafi’s longtime bodyguard and admitted he was part of a team that drove the late dictator’s third son across Libya’s southern border to Niger.
The convoy was ambushed after it had crossed back into Libya and Mr. Peters was shot. He returned to Toronto’s Pearson airport in September, bleeding heavily from an untreated bullet wound to his left shoulder.
“I got hurt over there so I come back,” he said when approached this week by a National Post reporter. He said he had been providing security to members of the Gaddafi family since 2004 and had continued to do so throughout the NATO campaign against the dictator. He worked mostly for Saadi but said he had also briefly guarded Col. Gaddafi’s sons Saif al-Islam and Hannibal.
Before helping Saadi flee to Niger, Mr. Peters said he had escorted Hannibal and Col. Gaddafi’s daughter Ayesha from Libya to Algeria in a convoy. His account of working for the Gaddafis was verified by several sources.
“I’m not a mercenary,” he said. “I work for a person in particular, have done for years, for close protection. When we go overseas, I don’t fight. That’s what a mercenary does. Defend? Yes. Shoot? Yes. But for defence, for my boss, and that’s what happened. The convoy got attacked and two of us got hit.”
After Mr. Peters had delivered Saadi to Niger, he returned to Libya, where gunmen opened fire on his three-vehicle convoy, he said. Five of the attackers were killed during the firefight and he was also hit.
He said he made his way to Tunisia and Frankfurt, then got on a flight to Toronto.
“I bled on the plane. I fell asleep and when I wake up … I felt a trickle and there was blood everywhere. There was a little bit of shrapnel in there.”
He got as far as the airport parking lot before he began to teeter from blood loss. He was taken to a nearby hospital to have the shrapnel removed. The RCMP spoke to him.
Canada has enacted UN sanctions imposing an arms embargo on Libya, and freezing the assets of Gaddafi family members, including Saadi, but Mr. Peters has not been charged with any crimes.
“I broke no laws,” he said. “But they have to investigate, which is fine.”
The NATO-backed anti-Gaddafi rebels have long alleged the dictator was being propped up by mercenaries, mostly from neighbouring African countries as well as Eastern Europe. But Mr. Peters’ story shows the family also employed Western security specialists, some from Canada.
It also indicates Saadi, the 38-year-old soccer-loving playboy of the Gaddafi clan, had taken steps to move himself and his family to North America as his father’s rule began to falter, although the escape plan was thwarted.
Mr. Peters said Saadi intended to flee to a property that had been purchased in Mexico, but that fell through. He also wanted to come to Canada, but Mr. Peters said that also did not work out, so he ended up in Niger.
“He loves Canada, that’s why he keeps coming back here, every year,” Mr. Peters said.
“He’s got investments here, he’s got property here. He wants to [move to Canada], but I was warned by RCMP that if he comes here they’ll arrest him straight away, I don’t know why.”
Interpol issued an arrest warrant for Saadi on Sept. 29 for allegedly “misappropriating properties through force and armed intimidation” when he was head of the Libyan soccer team. He is also subject to a UN travel ban and assets freeze for being “the commander of military units allegedly involved in repression of demonstrations by civilians during Libya’s uprising.”
But Mr. Peters denied that.
“If he was a mass murderer then obviously I wouldn’t work for him,” he said. “The man’s a gentleman, non-violent. They said that he’s the leader of a military unit. Bulls—, he’s not.”
He said while Col. Gaddafi, whom he said he had met, was “very intimidating” and “very hostile,” Saadi was a “very nice man, very educated, very nice guy. However don’t piss them off, very revengeful people.”
Sturdy and 5 ft. 5, with a pencil-thin moustache, brushcut and an Australian special forces army tattoo on his forearm, Mr. Peters goes by the nickname “Shorty.” He refers to Saadi as “The Boss.” He said since his return to Canada he had continued to speak regularly with Saadi by phone.
He said he supported neither the Gaddafi regime nor the National Transitional Council, but believed Canada had backed the wrong side in the conflict. He accused the rebels of committing atrocities and said NATO had bombed civilian homes.
“I’m not political. This is my boss, he’s also a client, also a friend,” Mr. Peters said.
“It’s difficult but you have your own principles too, right? My morals say that I’ve got to stand by him.”
He said he was returning to Niger this weekend.
But he said he had paid a price for his loyalty to the boss. The word “dog” was scratched on his car, he said. He believes he is being followed.
“All my clients I had here, they’ve all gone. They all boycotted, which is fine.”
Asked why, he said, “because of who I work for, and that I’m continuing to work for him. People talk.”
Saadi is known for his lavish party lifestyle and his role as captain of the Libyan national soccer team, a position some suggest he did not earn through his skill on the field. He was also captain of the Tripoli soccer club and president of the Libyan Football Federation.
Mr. Peters said he was serving in the Royal Australian Army when he first met Saadi. The Gaddafi son was visiting the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and Mr. Peters was assigned to protect him, he said.
Mr. Peters moved to Canada in 2002 (he is a landed immigrant, not a Canadian citizen) and worked “on and off” for the next two years as a close protection operative for the security company Blackwater USA.
His website says he has worked as a private investigator and close protection officer in Canada, the U.S. and Middle East. It says he is a certified executive protection specialist and member in good standing of the International Association of Security Professionals.
“Mr. Peters has provided protection and care for a significant amount of dignitaries, royalty and celebrities and is well acquainted with dealing with the various types of personalities from around the world in different locations and situations,” it reads.
A second on-line profile said he had received training in Israel and worked for Garda World in 2008-09. Ontario government records show Can/Aus Security was incorporated in 2009. No directors or officers are named in the corporate records.