Gadhafi's son released after more than 5 years of detention

Presently Saif Islam Gaddafi is in Libya, Zaidi noted without specifying the exact location.

Seif al-Islam, the son and one-time heir apparent of late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, has been released after more than five years in detention, his captors said on Saturday.

However, a press release on the militia group Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Battalion's Facebook page attributed the amnesty to an act of parliament.

Gaddafi's son was captured by the battalion's fighters in 2011 after his father was toppled by the popular uprising after more than 40 years in power. In July 2015, Tripoli Court of Appeal sentenced him, in absentia, to death by firing squad after he was found guilty of committing war crimes and suppressing peaceful protests during the 2011 revolution.

The ICC accuses Saif of crimes against humanity, saying he ordered the killing and torture of Libyans during the 2011 rebel uprising that overthrew his father.

No official statement has been issued regarding Gaddafi's release by either of Libya's rival governments.

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His captors, however, refused to turn him over to the different authorities in the Libyan capital or to the global tribunal.

Since then, Libya has struggled to establish a national government, with armed groups in the east and west challenging the Tripoli authority's government.

Zintan is controlled by armed groups opposed to the GNA.

Seif al-Islam was the likely successor to his father Moamer Kadhafi and had appeared destined to become the modern face of Libya.

Seif al-Islam, 44, whose name means sword of Islam, is the second of Kadhafi's eight children, the eldest son of his second wife Safiya.

But the GNA said the amnesty, enacted in April that year, can not apply to persons accused of crimes against humanity.

  • Adam Floyd