Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's wife and daughter, Safia and Aisha, crossed over the border into Tunisia several days ago, a Tunisian security source revealed on Wednesday. But Libyan officials are denying this news.
The pair arrived in Tunisia with a Libyan delegation on Saturday and are on the island of Djerba in the south, the source told Reuters.
Since the Libyan revolt began in February, Aisha has made several public appearances backing her father.
A month ago, she told a crowd at his compound in Tripoli: "Talk about Gaddafi stepping down is an insult to all Libyans because Gaddafi is not in Libya, but in the hearts of all Libyans."
A lawyer by training, Gaddafi's daughter runs a charitable foundation. In 2004, she joined a team of lawyers defending Saddam Hussein.
Further, Prosecutors asked judges of the International Criminal Court on Monday to issue arrest warrants for Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi, his son and brother-in-law, further isolating the autocratic ruler who has proved hard to dislodge despite NATO airstrikes and popular uprisings.
A legal brief presented to the judges accused the three of crimes against humanity in the killing of civilians as an effort to crush demonstrations they feared would unseat them, as happened with longtime rulers in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia.
WHICH COUNTRIES ARE AGAINST GADDAFI?
· USA, UK, Germany, France, Israel
WHO ARE SUPPORTING GADDAFI?
· Russia, Italy, Cyprus, Greece, Sri Lanka, China, Palestinians
In turn of events, Gaddafi says he is being betrayed by the Western leaders. The son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has alleged that his country helped finance Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 presidential election campaign.
"We funded it and we have all the details and are ready to reveal everything," Saif al-Islam said. His remarks to the Euronews TV channel came days after Libyan state TV reported a "grave secret" that would bring about Mr Sarkozy's downfall.
Mr Sarkozy denies that he benefited from any funding from Libya. "We deny it, quite evidently," a spokesman told Le Monde's website.
French fighter aircraft have destroyed five Libyan air force planes and two helicopters in an attack on the forces of Col Muammar Gaddafi.
A French spokesman said the aircraft were caught on the ground at Misrata air base preparing to launch attacks in the area of the rebel-held town.
France is one of the coalition countries enforcing a UN no-fly zone aimed at protecting civilians.
Sources: LA Times 17 May 2011