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Sunday, 5 July 2009

Gadaffi rocked by talk of affair with African queen

As Colonel Muammar Gadaffi, the leader of Libya, hosted an African Union summit last week, his name was romantically linked in a court case with the queen mother of an ancestral Ugandan kingdom.

Two editors of a Ugandan daily newspaper are being prosecuted for alleging that he is having an affair with her.

The Libyan ambassador, who initially brought the case seeking £245m in damages, said in his affidavit that the editors had launched an almost daily campaign to defame Gadaffi.

The Ugandan director of public prosecutions, which has taken over the case, accused the editors of defaming a foreign dignitary with intent to disturb peace and friendship between Uganda and Libya.

The prosecution’s lawyers said the stories were false and degrading, and exposed the Libyan leader to contempt.

The case has been brought against Richard Tusiime and Francis Mutazindwa, the editors of Red Pepper, one of Kampala’s most popular newspapers. If found guilty they face up to two years in prison.

The prosecution arose from a series of articles that portrayed Gadaffi, 67, as being in love with Best Kemigisa, 42, the attractive mother of King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV of Toro, one of five ancient kingdoms that make up Uganda.

The first story, published on February 5, was headlined “Gadaffi, Toro queen in love”. More stories followed, entitled: “Toro queen sex secrets revealed”, “Gadaffi asks Toro queen for a baby boy” and “Gadaffi buys Toro queen a plane”.

That story was a reference to a private jet Gadaffi allegedly bought Kemigisa, who has travelled with him on official trips.