Tripoli, 31 January:
The Australian bodyguard who helped smuggle Saadi Qaddafi out of Libya to Niger, is to be deported from Canada . . .[restrict]on the grounds that he was complicit in atrocities committed by the regime in its final days.
Gary Peters, a former soldier who now lives in Canada where he runs a security firm, was told by the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board that he was also being thrown out the country, because he had broken international law by assisting Saadi escape into Niger. The tribunal had been told that Peters was guarding the dictator’s son when he made a speech in Benghazi in the opening days of the revolution, ordering the military to fire on demonstrators. The Australian had denied that Saadi had made such speech, claiming instead that the order had been given by an intelligence chief.
In one of a number of interviews that he has given to various magazines, Peters insisted that his former boss was “a fun guy to be around”. He also complained that he was never paid for his work spiriting Saadi into Niger.
Peters is supposed to have been paid tens of thousands of dollars for his work protecting Saadi and at times, other members of the Qaddafi family. He also acted as bodyguard for Cynthia Vanier, an employee of Canadian engineering firm SNC-Lavelin, during a visit to Libya in the closing days of the old regime. Vanier, who has since been fired by the Canadian firm, is currently awaiting trial in Mexico, to where it is alleged that she tried to smuggle Saadi from Niger under a false identity. Peters now has a fortnight in which to appeal the tribunal’s decision.