The University of London's School of Oriental (SOAS) and African Studies privately tutored Mutassim Gaddafi, another of the Libyan leader's sons, in 2006. Last year SOAS announced a collaboration worth £188,024 with the Tripoli-based Al Fateh University to run an MSc course in finance. Sue Yates, who was director of business development at SOAS in 2006, confirmed Mutassim, who has been described by protesters in Libya as a "war criminal", spent no more than four weeks at the university studying language.
She said: "This is not unusual at all for members of prominent families ... It was special tuition for someone from a high profile background." A spokesman for the university added that connections with Al Fateh University were established prior to the teaching for the dictator's son. In addition, King's College London developed links to a Libyan government department aimed at overhauling prisons in the country, but was not granted access to two of Libya's worst prisons. The Gaddafi Foundation, the same organisation that made the donation to the LSE, played a key role in the deal, The Guardian reported. Prof Andrew Coyle, director of the prison studies centre which is now based at Essex University but was then part of King's College, said the centre's £680,000 funding was provided by the Foreign Office but the work of Libyan officials was sponsored by their government. He said: "They were serious about reform, and one of the first indications of this was that they accepted the suggestion that the prisons system should move from the ministry of public security to the Ministry of Justice. "The benefits of working in all the Ministry of Justice prisons outweighed the disadvantages of not having access to Abu Salim and Ain Zara] prisons."