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Ghaddafi's Son Released After 5 Years in Prison

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Gaddafi's son released from Libyan jail, but remains on International Criminal Court's wanted list 


Saif al Islam Gaddafi, the British-educated son of the former Libyan dictator, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, has been released from jail.


He had been held by  Abu Bakr al-Sadiq Brigade since being captured by the rebel group in November 2011 as he tried to flee to neighbouring Niger from Tripoli.

There had been reports of Gaddafi, who was facing the death penalty, being released last year, but they were unconfirmed.

He was freed on Friday after an amnesty was agreed by the parliament based in the east of the country.

Gaddafi is understood to now be with rebels in Al-Bayda and is expected to address the country.

Ajmi al-Atiri, the commander of the brigade is due to release a statement explaining the release.

The most high profile of the dead dictator's eight children, Al-Islam studied at the London School of Economics.

He was well known in London and his acquaintances included Lord Mandelson and the architect, Norman Foster.





They said his release was decided as part of a recent pardon issued by the Libyan parliament based in the country's eastern region.


The parliament in the city of Tobruk is part of one of three rival administrations in Libya, evidence of the chaos that has prevailed in the country since Gaddafi's ouster and death.

Gaddafi's son was captured by the battalion's fighters late in 2011, the year when a popular uprising toppled Gaddafi after more than 40 years in power.

The uprising later plunged the oil-rich North African nation into a ruinous civil war in which Mr al-Islam led Gaddafi's loyalist forces against the rebels.

Mr al-Islam, who is 44 and has a PhD from the London School of Economics, is still wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed during his father’s regime.




The most prominent son of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi appears to have been released from prison, according to reports on Wednesday.


Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was sentenced to death by firing squad last year, and he has been widely reported as imprisoned in the western Libyan town of Zintan.

However, on Wednesday, Gaddafi’s lawyer Karim Khan told France 24 that his client was in fact released on 12 April and is “well and safe in Libya”.

Khan, who was appointed as Gaddafi's lawyer on 27 June, said his client was released as part of an amnesty passed last year by the House of Representatives, which was Libya’s internationally recognised government until the UN-backed Government of National Accord took charge earlier this year.

Gaddafi’s current whereabouts are unknown and his lawyer did not say whether he has spoken to his client since the reported release.

“If he (Gaddafi) has been released it could be a tactic to get the ICC to drop the case [against Gaddafi] but this would fail as the ICC has already said a domestic amnesty does not constitute a reason to drop the case."


The amnesty cited as the reason for Gaddafi’s release was announced by the HOR on 28 July last year. It was an announcement that was widely viewed as being a response by the HOR to Gaddafi’s conviction by their political rivals in Tripoli.

The ICC has repeatedly called on Libyan authorities to transfer Gaddafi to their custody so he can face trial. However, local authorities in Zintan have refused both to hand him over to the ICC or transfer him to Tripoli.


'Under the protection of Zintan'


Eljarh said whether or not Gaddafi has been released, he believes that Zintani authorities have not been keeping him as a prisoner.

“He has won the trust of Zintanis and I believe he has been under their protection more than under their arrest,” he said.

Gaddafi’s reported release now may stoke conflict between Zintan and other parts of Libya, which is a country that, while having Africa’s largest oil reserves, has fractured since 2011 into a land of lawlessness swamped with arms and ruled by a myriad of militia groups.

“If he were really free, then this would shake things up in Libya as [Gaddafi] loyalists would now have a recognised leader also free to travel in parts of the country," Toaldo said. "But it is hard to say whether the forces now in control in Tripoli would accept that or whether that would create a further split.”

Eljarh said rumours of Gaddafi’s release could indicate that, behind the scenes, there is a movement to build a new coalition among forces opposed to Islamist groups operating in Libya.


“There have been contacts between General Haftar and Gaddafi loyalists about the release and return of key figures from the Gaddafi era,” he said, referring to Khalifa Haftar, the renegade anti-Islamist general who leads the self-declared Libyan National Army based in the country's east.

“Talk of the release of Saif may be part of an attempt to build a robust anti-Islamist coalition.

“Most of the anger [if Gaddafi’s release is confirmed] will come from Misrata and Islamists in Tripoli. But in the rest of Libya, I don’t think there will be much anger or opposition – especially in the east where there is openness to reconciling with Gaddafi-era figures.

“But Misrata and Islamists will say this is what they have been warning of – that this is a counter-revolution and Gaddafi-era figures will return to Libyan public life.”

Saif Gaddafi was widely viewed as being likely to succeed his father as the next Libyan leader.

He was well known internationally, particularly in Britain, as he was educated at the London School of Economics, where he holds a doctorate and made a controversial £1.5m donation to the university’s work on studying civil society in North Africa. 

He was also known to mix in elite British social circles, including being friends with former British prime minister Tony Blair, Lord Mandelson, and the world famous architect Norman Foster.






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May the people rise to the rightful heir and drive stinky evil islam back under its ugly rock where the satanic beasts belong.

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