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University and ex-police chief profit from Libyan training deal

A £4 million deal made between Libyan authorities and a British university also involved ex-Scotland Yard Commissioner Lord Stevens.

Libyan human rights groups living in the UK are enraged at the deal, arranged to provide forensic training at Huddersfield University to over 100 Libyan police officers. Technical assistance was provided by forensic and security science company Axiom International, with Lord Stevens its major shareholder and chairman.

Lord Stephens is alleged to have made a fortune since leaving the Met in 2005, and is expected to profit from the 18-month Libyan police training course, which began last December after student visas were granted by the Home Office to the trainees. The agreement, arranged by the Foreign Office, is likely to cause even more controversy for that organisation, already under heavy criticism for its links with the Gaddafi regime.

Libyan activists at present living in the UK say there are 2,500 Libyan police here, with a number spying on meetings held by Libyan dissidents and reporting back to the regime in Tripoli. Azeldin el Sharif, whose younger brother was killed by Gaddafi troops last week, is a member of the British Libyan Solidarity Campaign, He states training Gaddafi’s hard-line police here is hypocrisy. These are the men, he says, who are beating and killing their own people in defence of an evil regime.

Labour MP Robert Flello is calling on the government to investigate all universities who may be training or educating Libyan officials sympathetic to the Gaddafi regime, fearing they may use skills learned in the UK to terrorise their own people. He added there should be checks on the training here of officials from other despotic regimes. A Home Office spokesperson said the agreement was made privately between Libya’s police force and the university, with Lord Stevens as yet unavailable for comment.

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