Britain's LSE slammed over Kadhafi ties

1st December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain's prestigious London School of Economics was guilty of a "chapter of failures" during its close dealings with Libya's deposed Kadhafi regime, according to a report released Wednesday.

It singled out former LSE director Howard Davies' decision to let the school accept a £1.5-million ($2.3-million, 1.75-million-euro) gift from a foundation run by Seif al-Islam Kadhafi, the son of former leader Moamer Kadhafi.

Davies resigned over the issue in March, as the international outrage grew over Kadhafi's crackdown on the uprising in his country.

Seif Kadhafi graduated from LSE with an MSc in philosophy, policy and social value in 2003 and a PhD in philosophy in 2008. A separate investigation is probing claims that his PhD thesis was plagiarised.

The author of the report, former judge Harry Woolf, was asked to investigate why the LSE had ignored warnings that its reputation would be damaged by its links to the Kadhafi regime.

Woolf concluded that the institution had exposed itself to a "significant degree of risk", which materialised with Kadhafi's violent response to Libya's February uprising.

He added there had been a "chapter of failures" in scrutinising the proposed donation, which was to be paid in five annual installments of £300,000, he wrote.

"The actual source of money gifted... was never established", the report added: "Seif Kadhafi's word alone was relied upon."

The receipt of the first installment, six weeks after Kadhafi was awarded his PhD, was "unfortunate" and "risky", said the report and had led people to believe that he had had "purchased his degree".

The LSE said it accepted the report's recommendations, which included setting up an ethics code to protect its reputation and the creation of a body to monitor the admission of postgraduate students.

He also advised a fresh look into its policy on outside donations.

© 2011 AFP

0 Comments To This Article