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Gaddafi's daughter-in-law knocks down Syrian policemen and pedestrians

Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi waves before delivering an address to the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters on 23 September 2009 in New York City. [Mario Tama/Getty Images]
Former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi at the UN headquarters on 23 September 2009 in New York City [Mario Tama/Getty Images]

The daughter-in-law of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is reported to have driven into and knocked over pedestrians and policemen in the Syrian capital Damascus, Al-Modon has reported. Aline Skaf is said to have been drunk when the car she was driving hit two policemen on Sunday. 

Skaf is married to the late Libyan dictator's youngest son, Hannibal Gaddafi. The 40-year-old is a former Lebanese lingerie model. It is alleged that she parked illegally on a side street when a policeman arrived and began issuing her with a ticket. Her security guards waiting in another car then attacked the officer. When more police arrived, Skaf drove her car into the officers and bystanders, injuring two policemen and three pedestrians.

As her security guards continued to beat the policemen and bystanders, Skaf is reported to have screamed at and insulted onlookers while threatening to run over more of them. The incident ended when a senior Syrian regime official showed up and, according to eyewitnesses, ordered the policemen to stand down and allowed Skaf to drive away.

The intervention of the official and the fact that Skaf got away with assaulting police officers has shocked and angered even pro-regime figures such as Syrian journalist Suhaib Al-Masri. "The woman [Skaf] was released after running over and attacking policemen because a higher-up had got involved," he wrote on social media. "People are not flies — they can't be run over and then the whole story is forgotten."

The UAE-based Syrian fashion designer Manal Ajaj also condemned the incident on Facebook. "Who is this official who has no problem with a policeman being dragged and humiliated by a woman with no respect?" she asked. "If you're the daughter of a former president and you live here as a political refugee, you're welcome but you have to respect people and respect the country which opened its doors to you."

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Hannibal Gaddafi and Skaf escaped from Libya in 2011 as the uprising erupted against his father's. They found refuge in neighbouring Algeria before moving to Oman after being granted political asylum there a year later.

They then moved to Syria, which also granted them political asylum. Gaddafi's son was kidnapped and detained in Lebanon in December 2015. He was charged over the mysterious disappearance of Shia cleric Moussa Al-Sadr in Libya in 1978. Syria's appeals to have him released have been rejected by Lebanon. Skaf, meanwhile, remains in Syria where she lives as a political refugee.

The couple married in 2003 and are notorious for their controversial activities and human rights abuses. The Swiss authorities arrested them in 2008 for beating and abusing staff in a Geneva hotel. In 2009, police in London also arrested Hannibal Gaddafi for domestic abuse.

Before they fled in 2011, Skaf punished the family's Ethiopian nanny by pouring boiling water on her head for refusing to beat and silence their crying child. The nanny, Shweyga Mulla, was found by rebel forces having been abandoned by the couple at one of their luxury villas in Tripoli. She had severe burns and injuries to her head and body. Libyan rebels discovered thousands of images and videos of yachts, family holidays and the torture of prisoners on Hannibal Gaddafi's tablet device which he left behind when he fled.

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