Qatar’s former emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and former prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim assure late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi that the Doha-based Al Jazeera network would not host anti-Libya guests in a leaked audio recording.
“Give us names ... if you give us the people that you don’t want to come out on Al Jazeera. The person that coordinates between us and you ... [inaudible] ... Abdulla,” Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim could be heard telling Gaddafi.
The late Libyan leader then replies: “The agreement is that anyone who attacks Libya, they’re not allowed.”
Al Arabiya English could not verify the authenticity of the recording, which was posted on social media by Qatari opposition activist Khalid al-Hail.
The newly leaked recording by al-Hail follows another one late last month in which former emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani called ex-US President Barack Obama a “slave” and “silly.”
A similar recording between Qatar’s former emir and Gaddafi was released in 2017, in which the two ex-leaders attacked Saudi Arabia and the ruling family.
The recordings were secretly taped by Gaddafi during his meetings with world leaders in Libya, which have since been leaked following the late Libyan leader’s death in 2011.
Hamad bin Jassim did not deny the recording and said that the issue was discussed to appease Gaddafi.
Later in the recording, Qatari former emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa could be heard referring to an individual saying he had “Hamad’s personal number. Hamad bin Thamer.”
Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer al-Thani is the chairman of the Al Jazeera Media Network. The Doha-based network has claimed it has no government interference in its work numerous times over the years. The newly leaked recording, however, showed both the former emir and the prime minister had direct influence over the network’s editorial lines.
In 2013, Sheikh Hamad handed over power to his son, current Emir Sheikh Tamim al-Thani. Hamad bin Jassim stepped down from his positions in government at the time and reportedly has strained relations with the current emir.
Libyan dictator Gaddafi was tortured and killed on October 20, 2011, when rebel fighters took control of his hometown Sirte as part of an uprising that deposed his regime and led to the subsequent civil war in the country.