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Dead Gaddafi son linked to French Riviera prostitution ring

Published on Oct 22, 2012 6:59 AM

MARSEILLE (AFP) - A hearing opens in a French court Monday in a case involving a high-end prostitution ring that was active during the Cannes Film Festival and possibly had ties to a son of slain Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Seven men and a woman will go on trial in the southern French port city of Marseille, though the chief figures in the case - a group of Lebanese businessmen - are on the run.

An investigation launched in 2007 by an anti-trafficking agency found ties between one of the businessmen and one of Gaddafi's sons, Mutassim, who was killed with his father on Oct 20 last year. Investigators never questioned the son. "Those really responsible are absent or have fled," said Franck De Vita, the lawyer for an alleged escort girl charged in the case.

"You might wonder, at the very least, why Mr Gaddafi was not interrogated when you know about his links with Elie Nahas", the lawyer added, referring to a Lebanese who claimed to run a modelling agency employing young women recruited in South America, France and eastern Europe.

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