1 Gadhafi tent down in NY, 1 up in Venezuela
(AP) - Moammar Gadhafi's Bedouin-style tent, whichbrought a camel-themed tapestry and four days of consternation to aleafy New York suburb, was last seen Friday being bundled into aU-Haul.
But a new tent was pitched for the Libyan leader at his nextdestination, in South America.
The New York tent had been dismantled as ordered by the Town ofBedford, but since the Libyan leader's attendants had disregarded aprevious order, they may have taken it down simply because Gadhafididn't need it anymore. The public relations firm representingGadhafi said he and most of his delegation would be leaving thecountry Friday.
"That would be welcome news," said Bedford Town Supervisor LeeRoberts.
The Libyan, long unwelcome in the United States, is expected bySaturday at a meeting of African and South American leaders onMargarita Island in Venezuela. President Hugo Chavez said Thursdaythat Gadhafi was more than welcome to pitch his tent there, and byFriday one had been erected near the pool of a resort hotel.
Gadhafi has shown a penchant for conducting state business intents, having pitched them in Moscow, Paris and Rome, among otherdestinations. But for his trip this week to the United NationsGeneral Assembly meeting, he tried and failed to make camp inManhattan's Central Park and in Englewood, N.J.
When his tent was spotted Tuesday in the terraced courtyard of astone manor house on property owned by Donald Trump, it didn't goover well, and not just because it didn't fit in with thearchitecture.
Gadhafi has been vilified as a friend of terrorists, and for theeffusive welcome-home reception he gave Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, theLibyan convicted of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 overLockerbie, Scotland. Al-Megrahi was recently freed from prison inScotland because he's dying of prostate cancer.
Trump hinted he'd been tricked into renting his land,politicians declared Gadhafi unwelcome and Bedford issued astop-work order, saying the tent violated various zoning andhousing codes.
The white cloth tent, which was lined with a tapestry featuringcamels and palms, came down the next day, just after the townthreatened Trump with a lawsuit. But it was up again Thursday tothe astonishment of town attorney Joel Sachs, who brought twopolice officers with him to the scene, served criminal summonses onvarious parties and said he'd get a state court injunction if thetent wasn't down by Friday.
It was down. A building inspector reported to Sachs that workerswere packing it into a U-Haul truck before noon.
Sachs said that meant he wouldn't need an injunction, but thecriminal summonses stand. They are answerable next week in TownCourt and could result in fines of $1,000 a day, he said.
Khalifa Khalifa, a Libyan official, stood in front of the tentThursday night and insisted it was legal. He said it was meant tohonor the Libyan leader, although Gadhafi apparently never made itto Bedford.
"The tent is a symbol for the country and the president. Itgoes up everywhere they go," he said.