Tony Blair Lobbied Gadhafi for JP Morgan: Telegraph
Monster or treasure trove?
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Sep 19, 2011 2:58 AM CDT
Britain's then-Prime Minister Tony Blairmeets with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in Tripoli in 2007.   (AP Photo/Leon Neal/Pool, File)
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(Newser) – Villain-of-the-hour Moammar Gadhafi apparently wasn't too much of a monster for at least one US investment bank. The Telegraph is reporting that former PM Tony Blair lobbied Gadhafi and his family for business on behalf of JP Morgan. Blair was one of three "prominent Western businessmen," including an unidentified former American diplomat, who regularly tried to curry favor with Gadhafi's son Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, who wielded a significant influence over how the Libyan Investment Authority's $70 billion was spent, according to a senior executive with the organization. "Tony Blair's visits were purely lobby visits for banking deals with JP Morgan," said the source.

At least two of the trips were on planes arranged by Moammar Gadhafi, reports the paper. It's not clear if the American bank ever benefited from any lobbying in Libya. "Saif and his father played these people like musical chairs," scoffed the source. But a spokesman for Blair denies he ever lobbied for JP Morgan for Libyan business: "Tony Blair has never had any role, either formal or informal, paid or unpaid, with the Libyan Investment Authority or the government of Libya and he does not and has never had any commercial relationship with any Libyan company or entity," said the spokesman.