Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has hinted that he is ready to give up power after 41 years, but only if a rebel interim council gives him a pile of cash and assures him immunity from criminal prosecution, a media report has claimed.
The dictator is said to have proposed a meeting of the Libyan Parliament to agree to a transition period to pave the way for him to step down. His terms include immunity from criminal prosecution and a pile of cash, Britain's Daily Mail quoted Arabic TV network Al Jazeera.
However, the rebel interim council, based in the eastern city of Benghazi, reportedly rejected the offer because such an 'honourable' exit would offend Colonel Gaddafi's victims, the report said.
Gaddafi allegedly sent Jadallah Azzouz Talhi, a former prime minister, to meet the rebels to work out the fine print of a deal. The offer proposed that the dictator would hand over power to a committee formed by the General People's Congress.
A source close to the rebel council said he had heard that "one formula being proposed by the other side would see Gaddafi hand power to the head of parliament and leave the country with a certain guaranteed sum of money".
He added, "I was told that this issue of money is a serious obstacle from the national council's point of view."
However, rebel official Ahmed Jabreel said, "Talhi is a close acquaintance of mine and he is widely respected in Libya. But we've made it clear all along that any negotiations must be on the basis that Gaddafi will step down. There can be no other compromise."
Even two Arabic newspapers -- the London-based daily Asharq Al Awsat and the daily Al Bayan based in the United Arab Emirates -- had on Monday reported that Col onel Gaddafi was looking for an escape route.
One of Gaddafi's sons, Saadi, has warned that Libya would descend into civil war if his father stepped down.