Al-Saadi Gaddafi was a big football fan before he became a professional player. Once he left his professional career, in 2006, he and the Jamahiriya government launched a project to create a semi-autonomous city similar to Hong Kong in Libya, stretching 40 km between Tripoli and the Tunisian border. The proposed new city would become a high tech, banking, medical and educational center not requiring visas to enter. The city would have its own international airport and a major seaport. Gaddafi promised religious tolerance with both “synagogues and churches” and no discrimination in this new metropolis. The new city would have “Western-style” business laws that Saadi thought European and American companies would find welcoming and familiar. Gaddafi used to take great interest in the affairs of many of Libya’s other business interests like Tamoil, the oil refining and marketing company owned by the Libyan government, before the overthrow of the regime. In July 2010, Gaddafi was ordered by an Italian court to pay €392,000 to a luxurious Ligurian hotel for an unpaid bill dating back to a month-long stay in the summer of 2007. Gaddafi is married to the daughter of al-Khweildi al-Hmeidi, a Libyan military commander. In 2009, a U.S. diplomatic cable called Gaddafi “the black sheep” of Muammar Gaddafi’s family. It mentioned scuffles with European police, “abuse of drugs and alcohol, excessive partying” and “profligate affairs with women and men”. Gaddafi’s bisexuality had partly prompted the arrangement of his marriage to the commander’s daughter, the cable said. On 15 March 2011, there were unconfirmed reports that a pilot by the name of Muhammad Mokhtar Osman had flown his jet into the Gaddafi stronghold of Bab al-Azizia in Tripoli damaging it and injuring him and his brother Khamis. Speaking to BBC Panorama, a former Jamahiriya soldier claimed that Gaddafi had personally ordered to shoot unarmed protesters in Benghazi when visiting the city’s army barracks at the beginning of the uprising. Gaddafi confirmed that he had been at the barracks but denied giving orders to fire on protesters. Gaddafi was reportedly the driving force behind a change in fighting tactics of the government’s forces. Instead of using heavy infantry, tanks and armored cars – which could easily be distinguished from the Free Libyan Army and then destroyed by allied fighter jets – the fight against the rebels was pursued with small, fast and versatile units. The rebels claimed that they captured him during the Battle of Tripoli, on 21 August, but later the claim turned out to be false. On 24 August, Gaddafi contacted CNN, stating that he had the authority to negotiate on behalf of loyalist forces, and wished to discuss a ceasefire with U.S. and NATO authorities. A week later he contacted Al Arabiya, stating his father was ready to step down, and called for dialogue with the National Transitional Council. On 5 September, Gaddafi said in an interview with CNN that an “aggressive” speech by his brother Saif al-Islam had led to the breakdown of talks between NTC forces and Gaddafi loyalists in Bani Walid, and said he had not seen his father in two months. Gaddafi also claimed a position of neutrality in the conflict and offered to mediate. On 11 September, Gaddafi fled to Niger and was allowed entrance on humanitarian grounds. According to the government of Niger, they plan to detain Gaddafi while determining what to do with him. Gaddafi had also been trying to assemble a team to transport him to Barbados or Venezuela. On 29 September, an Interpol red notice was issued for Gaddafi. Brigi Rafini, the prime minister of Niger said he would not allow Gaddafi to be extradited. On 11 November, Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou said his government had decided to grant Gaddafi asylum “on humanitarian grounds”. On 7 December, the Mexican interior secretary said that Mexican intelligence agents broke up a smuggling ring attempting to bring Gaddafi into Mexico under a false name.