March 4, 2011 8:03 pm

Spain business school expels Gaddafi son

Spain’s IE business school has expelled Khamis Gaddafi, 27-year-old son of the embattled Libyan leader, from its international MBA course because of his “links to the attacks on the people of Libya”.

The young Mr Gaddafi, who was enrolled under his mother’s family name, was by now supposed to be doing practical work as an intern at a US company after learning everything from entrepreneurship to supply chain management at the school’s Madrid campus. Instead, he is reported to be leading an elite military brigade in Libya that has tried to crush the rebellion there.

Mr Gaddafi’s expulsion, announced on Friday, was the second time in a week that a prominent educational institution has had to unwind a relationship with the Libyan regime.

Sir Howard Davies resigned as director of the London School of Economics – where Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, another son who had previously been hailed as a reformer, earned a doctorate – after it emerged that the school had received part of a £1.5m ($2.4m) donation from the Gaddafi Foundation to fund a programme on north African development.

Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, dean of the IE business school, took the decision to expel Khamis Gaddafi on the recommendation of the directors of the MBA course, according to Juncal Sánchez, IE spokeswoman.

“The course was completely normal until he disappeared,” she said. “At no point did IE business school receive any donation from the Libyan government.”

Mr Gaddafi lived in Spain during the 13-month course, which began in April 2010 and costs €58,200 ($81,400) per person. For security reasons, including his own safety, the Spanish interior ministry was informed about his presence, said Ms Sánchez.

When revolution spread from Tunisia and Egypt to Libya, Khamis appears to have returned home to head the 32nd or so-called “Khamis Brigade” of special forces said by US diplomats to be “a regime protection unit” and the “most well-trained and well-equipped force in the Libyan military”.

Seif Gaddafi, the LSE alumnus, said he would “fight to the last bullet” for his father’s regime. Hannibal, another son, was arrested in Geneva in 2008 on assault charges, a case that led to the breakdown of Libyan-Swiss diplomatic relations.

Like the LSE, Spain’s three top business schools – IE and the Barcelona-based Iese and Esade – are internationally renowned and their courses are routinely chosen by the scions of world leaders and other prominent people.

Khamis Gaddafi would have studied a wide range of business topics on the course, including marketing, financial accounting and negotiating strategies, before his aborted secondment to the US. This week he was supposed to be attending a training seminar in South Africa.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2015. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from and redistribute by email or post to the web.