Dictator Watch

A long-time favourite for deposed African dictators, most of whom hail from ex-French colonies. But it may now be off the menu. Les Frogs welcomed mass-murderer Jean-Bedel Bokassa and Haiti’s  appalling ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier in the 1970s and 1980s but disappointed the old dictators club last month by turning away Ben Ali.

Top of the list nowadays for the departing despot, even if they’d prefer to be elsewhere. Even mass murderers are welcome, as Big Daddy Idi Amin found out. Ben Ali also had no trouble landing here when the French said vamoose. It helps to be a Muslim, because the sheikhs feel they can’t turn them away, but hey someone’s got to have these guys.

No good if you’ve been really BAD. Mass murderers need not apply. But one does have obligations. Pakistan’s military ruler Pervez Musharraf has settled here and Chile’s Augusto Pinochet made it his home (briefly), taking tea with Mrs T. So it’s not out of the question. But Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe would not be welcome.

You don’t want to end up here. It’s the Go To Jail card. Liberia’s Charles Taylor has been in the clink here since 2006, on trial for war crimes. And before that one S Milosevic had his cell. Not so easy to avoid it nowadays, but some countries still don’t have extradition treaties.

They won’t let dictators live there but they’re happy to hide their money. Well, they used to be, but even the Swiss have taken to asking rude questions and making mass murderers like Sani Abacha give the money back. Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Austria may be better bets nowadays, or even Singapore.