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Gaddafi's son Saif vows to 'bring peace' to war-torn Libya after he is freed from prison after six years


  • . Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, 44, had been held by militias in Eastern Libya since 2011
  • . Western-educated playboy is still wanted to answer 'crimes against humanity'
  • . He now wants to 'bring peace' to the war-torn country, his lawyer said yesterday 


  • The Western-educated playboy was a key player in attempts to broker deals between the despotic regime and the West before the 2011 uprising in which his father was killed.



    Colonel Gaddafi’s son has been freed from captivity in Libya and now wants to ‘bring peace’ to the war-torn country, his lawyer said yesterday.
    Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, 44, had been held by rebel militias in eastern Libya since November 2011 when he was caught trying to flee into neighbouring Niger after the death of his father and brother Mutassim.
    The Western-educated playboy was a key player in attempts to broker deals between the despotic regime and the West before the 2011 uprising in which his father was killed, and is still wanted by the International Criminal Court to answer charges of crimes against humanity.
    The militia forces, based in the town of Zintan, refused to hand him over for a war crimes trial in the capital Tripoli two years ago, over his role in his father’s brutal attempts to put down the rebellion, although he did appear by video link before he was handed the death sentence.
    His lawyer Khaled al-Zaidi refused to reveal Saif’s whereabouts after his release on Friday, but said he was still in Libya and hoped to work towards reconciliation in the region, which has been ravaged by civil war and the rise of the Islamic State terrorist group.

    Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, 44 (pictured), had been held by rebel militias in eastern Libya since November 2011 when he was caught trying to flee into neighbouring Niger

    Mr al-Zaidi told CNN: ‘His priority is to eradicate terrorism, to bring security then bring back life and economic prosperity. Any international organisations that want to combat terrorism will find Saif Gaddafi. He will have a major role in bringing peace to Libya.’
    He also said that Saif would not hand himself over to the ICC in The Hague.
    Prosecutors at the ICC say that Saif was part of his father’s plans to ‘quell, by all means, the civilian demonstrations against the Gaddafi regime’. An ICC judge has already ruled that Saif was his father’s ‘unspoken successor and the most influential person within his inner circle’ and ‘had the powers of a de facto prime minister’.

    The North African country has fallen into chaos since Colonel Gaddafi¿s regime was overthrown in 2011, as competing regional governments and rebel groups continue to battle for control 

    The North African country has fallen into chaos since Colonel Gaddafi’s regime was overthrown in 2011, as competing regional governments and rebel groups continue to battle for control 
    The North African country has fallen into chaos since Colonel Gaddafi’s regime was overthrown in 2011, as competing regional governments and rebel groups continue to battle for control. 
    The power vacuum allowed thousands of fighters from the so-called Islamic State to operate from camps in the country. Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi returned from Libya just days before he killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert last month.
    Saif has not been seen by independent observers since June 2014 and a previous report that he had been freed turned out to be false.
    Gaddafi loyalists in the east of the country had lobbied for Saif’s release as part of a push from former regime figures to reassert influence in Libya. Mr al-Zaidi said he was released under an amnesty passed by a regional government in eastern Libya and that Saif expected to soon make a public statement to the Libyan people.

    Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi (pictured) returned from Libya just days before he killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert last monthThe power vacuum allowed thousands of fighters from the so-called Islamic State to operate from camps in the country
    The power vacuum allowed thousands of fighters from the so-called Islamic State to operate from camps in the country. Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi (left and right) returned from Libya just days before he killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert last month
    As the one-time heir apparent to the Gaddafi regime, Saif was a key figure in negotiations with Britain over the release of the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.
    He became close to figures in the British Establishment after Tony Blair signed the notorious ‘Deal in the Desert’ in 2004 to re-establish diplomatic links. Saif described Mr Blair as a ‘personal family friend’ and said he had visited Libya ‘many, many times’ after he left Downing Street. He also claimed Mr Blair had become an adviser to the Gaddafi family, which the former prime minister denied.
    Prince Andrew was also accused of holding ‘detailed discussions’ with Saif over al-Megrahi’s release during a Foreign Office-sponsored trip to Algeria. Buckingham Palace denied any meetings or discussions had taken place.

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