Gaddafi son's fate remains shrouded in mystery

Sentenced to death by Tripoli court, Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi is reportedly pardoned by Libya’s UN-backed unity government

Gaddafi son's fate remains shrouded in mystery

World Bulletin / News Desk

The fate of Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, son of late Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, remains shrouded in mystery after a death sentence -- handed down against him by a Libyan court -- was squashed. 

Last year, Saif al-Islam, 44, was sentenced to death for war crimes by a Tripoli court in a mass trial of former regime officials. 

His lawyer, Karim Khan, said last week that the death sentence against his client had been squashed under an amnesty law issued by Libya’s new UN-backed unity government. 

Saif al-Islam was held at an undisclosed location after being released from house arrest in western Libya’s town of Zintan -- home to one of Libya’s most powerful militias -- where he had been held since 2011. 

In a Friday statement, the municipal and military councils of Zintan revolutionaries said Gaddafi’s son was still in prison and had not been released. 

However, Al-Ajami al-Atiri, the commander of a battalion stationed at the prison where Saif al-Islam is reportedly being held, insisted the amnesty against Gaddafi’s son had been carried out. 

He, however, declined to confirm whether Saif al-Islam had in fact been released.

"This is a security issue that we cannot talk about," he said. 

A tribal source in Zintan confirmed that Saif al-Islam had been "officially" and "legally" released. 

"He is now in the custody of the military, municipal and tribal councils in Zintan," the source said anonymously due to restrictions on speaking to media. 

The source, however, ruled out the notion that Gaddafi’s son would soon be released.

"He has no place to go inside Libya," he said. 

According to the source, Saif al-Islam still faces charges of crimes against humanity issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague. 

During Gaddafi’s rule, Saif al-Islam had been his heir apparent. When the uprising against Gaddafi broke out in 2011, he returned to Tripoli to support his father. 

After Gaddafi was killed in August of 2011, Saif al-Islam was captured in the Sahara Desert while trying to flee to Niger. 

In 2014, he was put on trial for war crimes and sentenced to death, but human rights groups and the UN said there was a lack of due process at his trial. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Temmuz 2016, 14:15