Claims Al Quds editor 'paid' by Gaddafi regime

By Jessica Elgot, September 16, 2011
Abdel Bari Atwan

Abdel Bari Atwan

London Arab journalist Abdel Bari Atwan has been accused by the Libyan transnational government of receiving monthly payments from the Colonel Gaddafi regime.

Libyan opposition leaders has distributed intelligence documents, claiming a number of Arab journalists received payments from Colonel Gaddafi's administration, allegedly including Mr Atwan. He is the editor of the London-based Al Quds newspaper, and a regular commentator for the Guardian and the BBC.

Mr Atwan, who was accused of antisemitism after remarks about the "Jewish lobby" at a debate held at LSE this year, is alleged to have been paid a monthly salary of around £2,500 a month for three years, a claim he vigorously denies.

He called the allegations defamatory, and told the Palestine Press News Agency that the documents were fraudulent. He promised to sue Libya's Mustafa Abdul Jalil, president of the Transitional National Assembly, through the British courts.

Mr Atwan said the campaign against him had begun because he had exposed alleged links between the Libyan transitional council and the Israeli government, via French philosopher Bernard - Henr i Levy, about a possible peace agreement.

On his website, Mr Atwan has previously denounced the Libyan rebel leadership for having "conceited and arrogant conduct" and said: "It is difficult to see how the country can be led by people with a mentality that is characterized by such arrogance, conceit, hostile attitude towards others."

He has previously clashed with Mr Levy, a staunch supporter of Western intervention in the Libyan uprising, on BBC's Newsnight, where Mr Levy dismissed the "ridiculous" comparison that the West had not intervened when Israel launched an offensive in Gaza.

Last updated: 9:50am, September 16 2011