French prostitute ring 'had links to Gaddafi son'
Agence France-Presse in Marseille
Two men and a woman appeared in a French court yesterday in a case over a Cannes Film Festival high-end prostitution ring with ties to a son of slain Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Seven men and a woman are on trial in the southern port city of Marseille, though the five chief figures are on the run.
They include Elie Nahas, a Lebanese who claimed to run a modelling agency.
Among the three who turned up was a Venezuelan named Felix Farias, who worked for a branch of Nahas' agency.
Nahas is accused of organising a birthday party for one of Gaddafi's sons, Mutassim, in 2004, costing US$1.5 million (HK$11.6 million) with several stars and models in attendance. Mutassim was killed with his father on October 20 last year.
Farias caused a scandal in 2007 when he turned up at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport with eight young women, including a minor, to attend the Cannes Film Festival. They were refused entry.
The inquiry established that women of various nationalities including models, beauty queens and escort girls, were recruited, especially during the Cannes festival, for clients from the Middle East ready to pay thousands of dollars for their services.