Libyan intelligence officer deported


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A Libyan intelligence officer Yousef Murgham, who had retired and decided to stay in Zimbabwe and married a local woman, was deported in August 2002 for engaging in activities that posed a threat to national security.

Murgham was escorted under the heavy guard of Central Intelligence Organisation agents to Harare International Airport and placed aboard an Air Zimbabwe flight bound for Nairobi where he was expected to catch connecting flights to Cairo and Tripoli.

CIO officers reportedly prevented Murgham’s wife, Jean, from serving the escorts with a copy of a High Court order preventing the deportation.

Murgham was an intelligence officer at the Libyan embassy from 1986. His wife said he resigned from the Libyan government in 1993 but had preferred to remain in Zimbabwe.

According to the United States embassy Murgham was a relative of Libyan leader Muammar Khadafy and was the primary architect of the close relationship between the Zimbabwean and Libyan governments.

The embassy said the deportation was likely to irritate Zimbabwe’s benefactor in Tripoli.

“We are interested to see whether the deportation has a deleterious impact on the warming Zimbabwe-Libya relationship,” the embassy said.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 02HARARE1874, ZIMBABWE DEPORTS LIBYAN INTELLIGENCE OFFICER

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

02HARARE1874

2002-08-16 10:06

SECRET

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

S E C R E T HARARE 001874

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/16/2012

TAGS: PTER PREL ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE DEPORTS LIBYAN INTELLIGENCE OFFICER

 

Classified By: political section chief Matt Harrington.

Reasons: 1.5 (B) and (D).

 

¶1. (U) According to almost identical press reports in both

the state-owned “Herald” and the independent “Daily News,”

the Zimbabwean government deported prominent Libyan resident

Yousef Murgham on August 15 for engaging in (unspecified)

activities that posed a threat to national security. Murgham

was escorted under the heavy guard of Central Intelligence

Organization (CIO) agents to Harare International Airport and

placed aboard an Air Zimbabwe flight bound for Nairobi, and

he was expected to catch connecting flights to Cairo and

Tripoli. CIO officers apparently prevented Murgham’s wife

from serving the escorts with a copy of a High Court order

preventing the deportation. The state-controlled daily

described Murgham as a former intelligence officer at the

Libyan embassy from 1986 until the early 1990’s who still

“was using the cover of contacts he made within the ruling

ZANU-PF party and Government while a diplomat.” According to

the same article, Murgham’s relationship with the Libyan

ambassador was “frosty.” His Zimbabwean wife, Jean, told

journalists he had resigned from the Libyan government in

1993 but had preferred to remain in Zimbabwe.

 

¶2. (S) Comment: Murgham’s activities as an intelligence

officer under non-official cover, and the internal GOZ

machinations which preceded the deportation, have been

well-documented in ORCA channels. A relative of Libyan

leader Khadafy, Murgham has been the primary architect of the

close relationship between the Zimbabwean and Libyan

governments, as well as of closer Libyan relations with much

of southern Africa. Khadafy’s failure to stop in Zimbabwe

during his recent road trip through the region, on his return

from the African Union inauguration, was likely related to

the Murgham uncertainty. It is noteworthy that the GOZ has

taken a step likely to irritate its benefactor in Tripoli,

and we are interested to see whether the deportation has a

deleterious impact on the warming Zimbabwe-Libya

relationship. More context is available in ORCA channels.

End Comment.

SULLIVAN

 

(70 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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