COLONEL Muammar Gaddafi was a revolutionary, but many other words have been used to describe him too. Words ranging from maverick to eccentric, tyrant and terrorist – but in her autobiography, Daad Sharab doesn’t pass judgement on the Libyan dictator, preferring she says to let the reader decide.

She does however have experience of his unpredictable behaviour, having spent 21 months under house arrest in Tripoli for no apparent reason.

In her two decades as Gaddafi’s chief fixer she witnessed what was by any stretch of the imagination a crazy regime, in which suitcases stuffed with cash, espionage, dirty tricks and private jet travel all featured prominently.

Sharab frequently rubbed shoulders with world figures such as Hillary Clinton, George Bush, Shimon Peres and billionaire arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, and befriended many Libyans –including members of Gaddafi’s famous Revolutionary Nuns.

She also brokered a multimillion dollar deal for a private jet for the Libyan leader, which resulted in her London court victory over Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, a nephew of Saudi Arabia’s ruler who had refused to pay her £10 million commission on the sale.

Her closeness to Gaddafi became strained in 2009 when he did not turn up for the wedding of Sharab’s brother in Jordan.

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For months afterwards, Sharab ignored calls from his office to return to Libya and, in 2010, while she was in the United Arab Emirates on her own business, she had a call from her family to say that Gaddafi’s nephew Abdul Hadi had flown to Jordan from Libya to persuade her to return with him to deliver reports she had previously prepared for the Colonel.

Days later, she met Hadi in Jordan but refused to return to Libya. The following day she took a call from Ahmad Ramadan, Libya’s information director, who had a simple message: “Gaddafi wants you here, tomorrow.”

On condition that she would be able to return to Amman for the birth of her brother and sister-in-law’s child, she went to Tripoli with her sister Reem.

However, Sharab was aware that things were not as amicable as they had previously been when a meeting with Gaddafi was delayed and then cut short. Gaddafi started to rant about King Abdullah of Jordan and his queen, claiming: “I know what your king is planning against me with the president of Egypt.”

He told her to go back to Tripoli and to wait in her hotel until he returned in two days, but one official car took her sister and assistant to an hotel while another took her to Ramadan’s office to deposit the reports she had prepared.

Twenty minutes later she was in a compound in a part of the city she had never visited before – the start of her 21 months under house arrest.

“I was utterly confused. Although there had been an awkwardness during my short meeting with Gaddafi, at no stage did I detect that he bore me any serious ill will,” she said.

“If I’d had any inkling that there was any threat to my personal safety I would never have returned to Libya, let alone exposed my sister to danger.”

What followed was a form of psychological torture, as Sharab faced demands to sign a statement that she was in witness protection, as a “witness for some important cases”, and another implicating a close friend in a plot to kill Gaddafi.

This treatment continued as Gaddafi’s empire began to crumble with the start of the Arab Spring, and waves of anti-government protests across the Middle East.

In March 2011, NATO started bombing raids against Libya, allegedly to protect civilians. Sharab survived one such onslaught but witnessed the horrific aftermath.

The kindness and bravery of strangers kept her alive as she came under fire while fleeing across the Libyan desert to neighbouring Tunisia and safety.

Despite the trauma, Sharab said that for all his faults, she believed Libya was worse off without Gaddafi: “I know I will be condemned for saying this, but he was a big personality who brought stability. His death created a huge void.

“Libya today is a much more dangerous and divided country.

“The Colonel is rarely far from my thoughts. On my office wall in Amman there is a gallery of photographs. Pride of place goes to an image of the Colonel standing next to me and my daughter.

“Many people ask: ‘How can you display a picture of this man who imprisoned and nearly killed you?’ “My answer is simple. He was part of my life. I have no regrets. Read my book and judge him for yourself.”