Saif al-Islam Gaddafi

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Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
Personal details
Saif al-Islam Muammar al-Gaddafi
سيف الإسلام معمر القذافي

(1972-06-25) 25 June 1972 (age 47)
Tripoli, Libya
Political party Popular Front for the Liberation of Libya
Alma mater Al Fateh University
London School of Economics [1]
Profession Engineer
Website Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation
Military service
Allegiance Flag of Libya (1977-2011).svg Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Branch/service Libyan Army
Years of service2011
Battles/wars 2011 Libyan civil war

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi (Arabic : سيف الإسلام معمر القذافي; born 25 June 1972) is a Libyan political figure. He is the second son of the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his second wife Safia Farkash. Gaddafi was awarded a PhD from the London School of Economics.

Libya Country in north Africa

Libya, officially the State of Libya, is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad to the south, Niger to the southwest, Algeria to the west, and Tunisia to the northwest. The sovereign state is made of three historical regions: Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. With an area of almost 1.8 million square kilometres (700,000 sq mi), Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa, and is the 16th largest country in the world. Libya has the 10th-largest proven oil reserves of any country in the world. The largest city and capital, Tripoli, is located in western Libya and contains over one million of Libya's six million people. The second-largest city is Benghazi, which is located in eastern Libya.

Muammar Gaddafi Libyan revolutionary, politician and political theorist

Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi, commonly known as Colonel Gaddafi, was a Libyan revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He governed Libya as Revolutionary Chairman of the Libyan Arab Republic from 1969 to 1977, and then as the "Brotherly Leader" of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya from 1977 to 2011. He was initially ideologically committed to Arab nationalism and Arab socialism but later ruled according to his own Third International Theory.

Safia Farkash El Hadad is the widow of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and former First Lady of Libya, and mother of seven of his eight biological children.


He was a part of his father's inner circle, performing public relations and diplomatic roles on his behalf. [2] He publicly turned down his father's offer of the country's second highest post and held no official government position. According to American State Department officials in Tripoli, during his father's reign, he was the second most widely recognized person in Libya, being at times the "de facto" Prime Minister, [3] and was mentioned as a possible successor, though he rejected this. [4] An arrest warrant was issued for him on 27 June 2011 by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for charges of crimes against humanity against the Libyan people, for killing and persecuting civilians, [5] under Articles 7(1)(a) and 7(1)(h) of the Rome statute. [6] He denied the charges. [7] As of 2011, Saif El Islam had strong public support from many portions of the Libyan society, as many viewed him as a reformer and a pacifist, contrary to how Western media portrayed him during the revolution. [8]

United States Department of State United States federal executive department responsible for foreign affairs

The United States Department of State (DOS), commonly referred to as the State Department, is a federal executive department responsible for carrying out U.S. foreign policy and international relations. Established in 1789 as the nation's first executive department, its duties include advising the U.S. President, administering the nation's diplomatic missions, negotiating treaties and agreements with foreign entities, and representing the U.S. at the United Nations.

The International Criminal Court investigation in Libya or the Situation in Libya is an investigation started in March 2011 by the International Criminal Court (ICC) into war crimes and crimes against humanity claimed to have occurred in Libya since 15 February 2011. The initial context of the investigation was the 2011 Libyan Civil War and the time frame of the investigation continued to include the 2019 Western Libya offensive.

Crimes against humanity deliberate attack against civilians

Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are deliberately committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian or an identifiable part of a civilian population. The first prosecution for crimes against humanity took place at the Nuremberg trials. Crimes against humanity have since been prosecuted by other international courts as well as in domestic prosecutions. The law of crimes against humanity has primarily developed through the evolution of customary international law. Crimes against humanity are not codified in an international convention, although there is currently an international effort to establish such a treaty, led by the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative.

Gaddafi was captured in southern Libya by the Zintan militia on 19 November 2011, after the end of the Libyan Civil War, and flown by plane to Zintan. He was sentenced to death on 28 July 2015 by a court in Tripoli for crimes during the civil war, in a widely criticised trial conducted in absentia . He remained in the custody of the de facto independent authorities of Zintan. [9] On 10 June 2017, he was released from prison in Zintan, according to a statement from Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Battalion. [10] Later the same month, his full amnesty was declared by the Tobruk-based government led by Khalifa Haftar. [11] As of May 2018, Gaddafi remained wanted [12] under his ICC arrest warrant for crimes against humanity. [6]

Zintan Town in Tripolitania, Libya

Zintan is one of the biggest cities in north western Libya, situated roughly 136 kilometres (85 mi) southwest of Tripoli, in the area. The city and its surrounding area has a population of approximately 50,000.

Libyan Civil War (2011) 2011 armed conflict in the North African country of Libya

The First Libyan Civil War, also referred to as the Libyan Revolution or 17 February Revolution, was an armed conflict in 2011 in the North African country of Libya fought between forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and those seeking to oust his government. The war was preceded by protests in Zawiya on 8 August 2009 and finally ignited by protests in Benghazi beginning on Tuesday, 15 February 2011, which led to clashes with security forces that fired on the crowd. The protests escalated into a rebellion that spread across the country, with the forces opposing Gaddafi establishing an interim governing body, the National Transitional Council.

Trial in absentia is a criminal proceeding in a court of law in which the person who is subject to it is not physically present at those proceedings. in absentia is Latin for "in the absence". Its meaning varies by jurisdiction and legal system.

Education and career

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi graduated with a bachelor of science degree in engineering science from Tripoli's Al Fateh University in 1994. However, there is another report stating that he is an architect. [13] He earned an MBA from Vienna's Imadec business school in 2000.

Tripoli Capital city in Greater Tripoli, Libya

Tripoli is the capital city and the largest city of Libya, with a population of about 1.158 million people in 2018. It is located in the northwest of Libya on the edge of the desert, on a point of rocky land projecting into the Mediterranean Sea and forming a bay. It includes the port of Tripoli and the country's largest commercial and manufacturing centre. It is also the site of the University of Tripoli. The vast Bab al-Azizia barracks, which includes the former family estate of Muammar Gaddafi, is also located in the city. Colonel Gaddafi largely ruled the country, from his residence in this barracks.

The Master of Business Administration degree originated in the United States in the early 20th century when the country industrialized and companies sought scientific approaches to management. The core courses in an MBA program cover various areas of business such as accounting, applied statistics, business communication, business ethics, business law, finance, managerial economics, management, entrepreneurship, marketing, supply chain, and operations in a manner most relevant to management analysis and strategy.

Vienna Capital city and state of Austria

Vienna is the federal capital, largest city and one of nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city, with a population of about 1.9 million, and its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Until the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, and before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today it is the second largest German-speaking city after Berlin and just before Hamburg. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. The city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of Czechia, Slovakia, and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger.

His paintings made up the bulk of the international Libyan art exhibit, "The Desert is Not Silent" (2002–2005), [14] a show which was supported by a host of international corporations with direct ties to his father's government, among them the ABB Group and Siemens. [15]

ABB Group multinational corporation operating in robotics, power and automation technology

ABB is a Swiss-Swedish multinational corporation headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, operating mainly in robotics, power, heavy electrical equipment and automation technology areas. It is ranked 341st in the Fortune Global 500 list of 2018 and has been a global Fortune 500 company for 24 years.

Siemens AG (Aktiengesellschaft) is a German multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Munich and the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe with branch offices abroad.

Gaddafi was awarded a PhD degree in 2008 from the London School of Economics, where he attended amid a series of contacts between the school and the Libyan political establishment. He presented a thesis on "The role of civil society in the democratisation of global governance institutions: from 'soft power' to collective decision-making?" [16] [17] Examined by Meghnad Desai (London School of Economics) and Anthony McGrew (University of Southampton), among the LSE academics acknowledged in the thesis as directly assisting with it were Nancy Cartwright, David Held and Alex Voorhoeve (the son of former Dutch minister Joris Voorhoeve). Professor Joseph Nye of Harvard University is also thanked for having read portions of the manuscript and providing advice and direction. [18] [19] Furthermore, allegations abound that Saif's thesis was in many parts ghost-written by consultants from Monitor Group, which earned $3 million per year in fees from Muammar Gaddafi. [20]

London School of Economics Public research university in Westminster, central London, England

The London School of Economics is a public research university located in London, England, and a member institution of the federal University of London. Founded in 1895 by Fabian Society members Sidney Webb, Beatrice Webb, Graham Wallas, and George Bernard Shaw for the betterment of society, LSE joined the University of London in 1900 and established its first degree courses under the auspices of the University in 1901. The LSE started awarding its own degrees in 2008, prior to which it awarded degrees of the University of London.

Meghnad Desai, Baron Desai British economist and politician

Meghnad Jagdishchandra Desai, Baron Desai, is a British economist and Labour politician. He stood unsuccessfully for the position of Lord Speaker in the British House of Lords in 2011, the first ever non-UK born candidate to do so. He has been awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award in the Republic of India, in 2008.

University of Southampton research university located in Southampton, England

The University of Southampton is a research university in Southampton, England. The university's origins date back to the founding of the Hartley Institution in 1862. In 1902, the Institution developed into the Hartley University College, awarding degrees from the University of London. On 29 April 1952, the institution was granted full university status, allowing it to award its own degrees.

Speaking in Sabha on 20 August 2008, Gaddafi said that he would no longer involve himself in state affairs. He noted that he had previously "intervene[d] due to the absence of institutions", [21] but said that he would no longer do so. He dismissed any potential suggestion that this decision was due to disagreement with his father, saying that they were on good terms. He also called for political reforms within the context of the Jamahiriya system and rejected the notion that he could succeed his father, saying that "this is not a farm to inherit". [21]

Charity and social affairs

Gaddafi was the president of the Libyan National Association for Drugs and Narcotics Control (DNAG). In 1998, [22] he founded the official charity, the Gaddafi International Foundation for Charity Associations, which intervened in various hostage situations involving Islamic militants and the crisis of the HIV trial in Libya and the resulting European Union-Libyan rapprochement.

In 2009, both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch were allowed entry to Libya, via Gaddafi's non-profit organization in order to gather facts about the human rights situation in Libya. [23] [24] While AI and HRW reported that there were concerns about the "repressive atmosphere," both felt there were signs of "improvement" and HRW said that one should not "underestimate the importance of the efforts made so far" by Gaddafi in the realm of human rights in Libya. [25]

In December 2010, Gaddafi announced that his charity foundation "will no longer be involved in promoting human rights and political change in the North African country," and that instead, it "will focus on its 'core charitable mission' of delivering aid and relief to sub-Saharan Africa." [26]

International diplomacy

Gaddafi was instrumental in negotiations that led to Libya's abandoning a weapons of mass destruction programme in 2002–2003. He arranged several important business deals on behalf of the Libyan regime in the period of rapprochement that followed. He was viewed as a reformer, and openly criticised the regime: [27]

[a] congressional aide asked him what Libya needed most. His one-word answer: democracy.

"You mean Libya needs more democracy?" the aide asked.

"No. 'More democracy' would imply that we had some," Gaddafi said.

In 2003, he published a report critical of Libya's record on human rights.

On 10 December 2004, shortly before a trip by Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin to Tripoli, in an interview with The Globe and Mail Gaddafi requested a formal apology from the Canadian government, for joining U.S.-led sanctions against Libya after the Lockerbie bombing, and for denying him a student visa to study in Canada in 1997. His request was met with incredulity in Canada, and the Canadian government announced that no apology would be forthcoming.

HIV trial

In her book Notes from Hell Chervianashka confirms torture during the HIV trial, and describes Saif al-Islam's role in the process Notes from Hell 2014 eBook edition.jpg
In her book Notes from Hell Chervianashka confirms torture during the HIV trial, and describes Saif al-Islam's role in the process

Gaddafi played an important role in the HIV trial in Libya. At first he rejected information the medics were tortured. "During this time we saw Gaddafi's son on a television broadcast categorically denying that Libya still tortured suspected criminals", claims Valya Chervianashka, one of the accused nurses in her auto-biography. Later he admitted in interviews that the Bulgarian nurses, charged with conspiring to deliberately infect over 400 children with HIV in 1998, had been tortured and that the government had denied them a fair trial. His admissions were said to have badly damaged his reputation in Libya. [3]

The torture process is confirmed and described in details in the book Notes from Hell , [28] co-written by one of the nurses, Valya Chervianashka. Saif al-Islam was mentioned several times in the book. According to her:

One day, the executive director of Muammar al-Gaddafi's son's foundation, the Gaddafi International Foundation for Charity Associations (GICDF), arrived at the prison, inviting us to the director's office of the women's wing for a meeting. We were in our pyjamas, dishevelled and unprepared. We hastily put on some clothes and hurried to meet the director. A Libyan man along with Ambassador Lyudmil Spassov and Roumen Petrov waited for us outside the office. The Ambassador told us, "This is a very important person. He will help you; he is on your side." Saleh Abdel Salam, executive director of GICDF, was intimidating. We didn't realise it then, but this Libyan man would indeed help us in the future.

Isratine proposal

Saif introduced the Isratine proposal to permanently resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict through a secular, federalist, republican one-state solution. [29]

Philippine peace process

Gaddafi served as Chairman of the Gaddafi International Foundation for Charitable Associations. In this role, he was involved in a number of humanitarian initiatives. Notably, he hosted peace talks between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Tripoli. [30] In the resulting peace agreement concluded on 22 June 2001, Gaddafi was expressly thanked for his involvement. [30] He was also the witness to the signing of the peace agreement. [30] The peace agreement forms a part of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro concluded in 2014. [31]

2008 agreement with Italy

Gaddafi was involved in negotiating compensation from Libya's former colonial power, Italy, and on 30 August 2008 a Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation Agreement was signed in Benghazi by his father and Italy's prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. [32] However, the treaty was unilaterally suspended by Italy at the beginning of 2011, after Italy refused to consider Gaddafi government as their interlocutor. [33]

Compensation for American terror victims

He was also negotiating with the United States in order to conclude a comprehensive agreement making any further payments for American victims of terror attacks that have been blamed on Libya – such as the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing, the 1988 Lockerbie bombing and the 1989 UTA Flight 772 bombing – conditional upon U.S. payment of compensation for the 40 Libyans killed and 220 injured in the 1986 United States bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi. On 14 August 2008, the U.S.-Libya Comprehensive Claims Settlement Agreement was signed in Tripoli. Former British Ambassador to Libya Oliver Miles described the agreement as "a bold step, with political cost for both parties" and wrote an article in the online edition of The Guardian querying whether the agreement is likely to work. [34]

In an August 2008 BBC TV interview, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi said that Libya had admitted responsibility (but not "guilt") for the Lockerbie bombing simply to get trade sanctions removed. He further admitted that Libya was being "hypocritical" and was "playing on words", but said Libya had no other choice on the matter. According to Gaddafi, a letter admitting "responsibility" was the only way to end the economic sanctions imposed on Libya. When asked about the $10m (£5.3m) compensation that Libya was paying to each victims' family, he again repeated that Libya was doing so because it had no other choice. He went on to describe the families of the Lockerbie victims as "trading with the blood of their sons and daughters" and being very "greedy", saying, "They were asking for more money and more money and more money". [35]

Diplomacy for extraditing Libyans

Interviewed by French newspaper Le Figaro on 7 December 2007, Gaddafi said that the seven Libyans convicted for the Pan Am Flight 103 and the UTA Flight 772 bombings "are innocent". [36] When asked if Libya would therefore seek reimbursement of the compensation paid to the families of the victims (US$2.33 billion), Gaddafi replied: "I don't know." [36] Gaddafi led negotiations with Britain for the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the convicted Pan Am 103 conspirator. [27]

In 2007, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Tripoli, with whom it is alleged he helped broker an arms deal, including missiles. [37] [38] [39]

In November 2008, Gaddafi made a high-profile visit to the United States where he met with US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. During the meeting, Rice raised the case of Libya's jailed political dissident and democracy activist, Fathi El-Jahmi. [40] In a Forbes article in 2009, Fathi's brother wrote that "for nearly a year, both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch hesitated to advocate publicly for Fathi's case, because they feared their case workers might lose access to Libyan visas." [41]

In 2009, Saif al-Islam welcomed Sarah Leah Whitson, director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East division, into Libya, accompanying her in meeting with many government officials and others during her visit. She wrote of her official visit that "the real impetus for the transformation rests squarely with a quasi-governmental organization, the Qaddafi Foundation for International Charities and Development" chaired by Gaddafi. She praised Gaddafi for establishing the country's two semi-private newspapers, and said "it is impossible to underestimate the importance of the efforts made so far. Let's hope this spring will last." [42]

Stand-off with US officials

In 2009, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi claimed that Libya's opinion of him was shaped largely by his role in Libya's engagement with the West, saying "If something goes wrong, people will blame me, whether I am in a certain official position or not." He expressed frustration with the US, saying Libya's decision to give up its Weapons of Mass Destruction programs was contingent upon "compensation" from the US, including the signing of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, economic cooperation, and cooperation in purchasing conventional weapons and military equipment. He stated, "We share rich natural resources – oil and gas – along the borders, yet we have no capacity to defend that wealth." Because of a US legal embargo, Libya cannot purchase weapons from the United States, Sweden, or Germany, and has been disallowed from buying "Tiger" vehicles with American-manufactured engines from Jordan. He asked for greater military assistance, as Libya had committed itself to destroying chemical stockpiles, but would require at least $25 million to do so. Gaddafi said the United States had "humiliated" his father during his visit to New York in 2009, and said that his father's tent and residence issues were disappointing and his UN speech had been misinterpreted. Gaddafi said that his father was barred from visiting Ground Zero, which also frustrated him. Gaddafi held a standoff with US officials in November 2009, refusing to send a shipment of Highly Enriched Uranium back to Russia unless the United States renewed its commitment to cooperation with Libya. [43]

Libyan civil war


On 19 February, several days after the conflict began, Saif al-Islam announced the creation of a commission of inquiry into the violence, chaired by a Libyan judge, as reported on state television. He stated that the commission was intended to be "for members of Libyan and foreign organizations of human rights" and that it would "investigate the circumstances and events that have caused many victims." [44] Later in the month, he went on state television to deny allegations that the government had launched airstrikes against Libyan cities and stated that the number of protesters killed had been exaggerated. [45]

On 20 February 2011, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi delivered an address to the nation on Libyan state television stating that if no agreement could be found between protesters and the government "thousands of deaths, and rivers of blood will run through Libya". He also insisted that his father remained in charge with the army's backing and would "fight until the last man, the last woman, the last bullet." [46] Speaking on Libyan state TV, Saif al-Islam blamed the civil war on tribal factions and Islamists acting on their own agendas, drunken and drugged.[ clarification needed ] He promised reforms, and said the alternative would be civil war blocking trade and oil money and leading to the country being taken over by foreigners. [47] He closed by saying, "We will not let Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya and BBC trick us." Oliver Miles, a former British Ambassador to Libya, disagreed with his assessment. [48] [49] In an interview with ABC News reporter Christiane Amanpour, Saif al-Islam denied that his father's regime was killing civilians. [50]

In June 2011, Saif al-Islam and his father, Muammar, announced that they were willing to hold elections and that Muammar Gaddafi would step aside if he lost. Saif al-Islam stated that the elections could be held within three months and transparency would be guaranteed through international observers. NATO and the rebels rejected the offer, and NATO soon resumed their bombardment of Tripoli. [51]

On 27 June, an arrest warrant was issued by the ICC. [52] On 1 July, Saif al-Islam had an interview with Russia Today , where he denied the ICC's allegations that he, or his father, ordered the killing of civilian protesters. He pointed out that he was not a member of the government or the military, and therefore had no authority to give such orders. According to Saif al-Islam, he made recorded calls to General Abdul Fatah Younis, who later defected to the rebel forces, requesting him not to use force against protesters, to which Younis responded that the protestors were attacking a military site, where surprised guards fired in self-defence. Saif al-Islam condemned NATO for bombing Libyan civilians, including his family members and their children, under the false pretence that their homes were military bases. He stated that NATO offered to drop the ICC charges against him and his father if they accept a secret deal, an offer they rejected. He thus criticised the ICC as "a fake court" controlled by NATO member states. [7] [53]

In August, Saif al-Islam gave an interview to the New York Times stating that Libya was becoming more closely aligned to Islamists and would likely resemble Iran or Saudi Arabia. Saif al-Islam said that his father was working closely with Islamists within the rebellion to splinter the resistance. [54]

On 21 August, the National Transitional Council claimed that Saif al-Islam was arrested by the National Liberation Army, pursuant to an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court. [55] However, on the early morning of 23 August, Saif al-Islam was seen by Western journalists apparently moving around under his own free will outside the Rixos Hotel. [56] [57]

After the fall of Tripoli, Saif al-Islam went to Bani Walid.{بني وليد} His brother, Al-Saadi contacted CNN, stating that he had the authority to negotiate on behalf of loyalist forces, and wished to discuss a ceasefire. [58] On 5 September, Al-Saadi said in an interview with CNN that an "aggressive" speech by his brother Saif al-Islam had led to the breakdown of the negotiations between NTC forces and Gaddafi loyalists in Bani Walid. Saif al-Islam stayed in Bani Walid until the town was captured by NTC forces. [59]

On 17 October, after leaving Bani Walid, his convoy was hit by a NATO air attack at Wadi Zamzam where he lost 26 of his supporters and 9 military vehicles. [60] His right hand was wounded and according to his own explanation it happened during the NATO air strike. According to the Libyan Al Mashhad Al Leebi program, the fingers of his right hand were cut off. [61]


With the death of Muammar and Mutassim Gaddafi in Sirte on 20 October 2011, Saif al-Islam was the only member of the Gaddafi family left in Libya. He appeared on Syrian pro-Gaddafi television on 22 October claiming "I am in Libya, I am alive and free and willing to fight to the end and take revenge", [62] but his whereabouts were unknown and subject to many rumours.

An international team of lawyers representing the interests of Saif al-Islam wrote to US leaders demanding that he be protected from assassination and holding the United States and NATO responsible for the Libyan leader's "brutal assassination" and repeated attacks on Libya's civilian population. [63]

On 19 November 2011, as Saif al-Islam was trying to flee from Libya, he and four aides were captured, [64] and detained about 50 kilometres (31 mi) west of the town of Ubari near Sabha in southern Libya, 640 kilometres (400 mi) from Tripoli. [65] Sources say that it was the betrayal by a Libyan nomad, Yussef Saleh al-Hotmani, that finally led to his capture. Yussef Saleh al-Hotmani told the interviewers that he was hired to guide a man to Niger and that he was offered €1 million for the job. Being offered such a huge sum of money, he suspected foul play as Saif's agent did not tell him whom he was going to guide. He contacted the rebel fighters and told them where a two vehicle convoy would pass through southern Libya on the night of 18 November and this allowed the rebel fighters to ambush the convoy. Saif was taken to Zintan by plane and, pending trial, he was kept in detention by the Zintan-militia that captured him. [66]

Criminal charges and trials

Based on his outstanding warrant the International Criminal Court (ICC) asked the new government about Saif al-Islam Gaddafi's detention. [65] The new government was unable or unwilling to comply with the ICC's information requests regarding Saif al-Islam. [67] New deadlines for information requests from the ICC were also missed. A brief filed by the Office of Public Counsel for the Defence on behalf of Gaddafi claimed that "there is no basis for asserting that the ICC should defer the case to Libya". [68] The brief requested the court to order Libya to immediately implement Gaddafi's rights, and report Libya to the Security Council if it does not. [68]

In August 2012, the Libyan government announced that Saif al-Islam would stand trial in the western Libyan town of Zintan, in September 2012. [69] However, the trial was subsequently delayed. On 17 January 2013, Saif al-Islam appeared in court in Zintan. [70] However, trial was again delayed, and it wasn't until April 2014 that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi appeared in court in Tripoli, via video link for security reasons. [71]

Libya appealed his extradition to the Hague Court (ICC), but the court affirmed the indictments. [72] The court held that the Libyan government failed to show that Saif al-Islam faced the same charges in Libya as he did in the ICC. [72]

On July 28, 2015, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was sentenced to death in absentia for war crimes by the "self-declared government" in Tripoli, Libya (he was being held in Zintan, not where the trial was held). However, the Zintan authorities have consistently refused to either hand him over to the Tripoli authorities or to implement their sentence. The trial and the sentence have been criticised by the United Nations human rights office (OHCHR) and by Human Rights Watch. [73] [74] [75]

In July 2016, one of his lawyers Karim Khan claimed that his client had been freed on 12 April of that year and transferred to a secret location after the government quashed his sentence, and that he would petition the ICC to drop all charges against him. [76] A Zintan military source denied that he had been released. [77]

In May 2017 Saif al-Islam survived an assassination attempt in Zintan by local militias. [78]

Release and ICC arrest warrant

On 10 June 2017, Saif al-Islam was released from prison in Zintan, according to a statement from Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Battalion. [10] The militia chose not to transfer him to the custody of the International Criminal Court, saying "We are not concerned with the international tribunal as the ICC did not ask us to hand him over". [78] The UN-backed Libyan government based in Tripoli condemned his release while an ICC prosecutor was still trying to verify the release, and called on Libya and other states to arrest and surrender him, stating "Libya is obliged to immediately arrest and surrender Mr Gaddafi [...] regardless of any purported amnesty law." [79] [80]

In May 2018, the ICC reminded Libyan authorities of the arrest warrant issued against Saif al-Islam, [6] calling for him to be arrested and transferred to the custody of the ICC. The ICC also called for "credible information" that could lead to finding his location. [12]

2019 presidential run

Gaddafi announced on 22 March 2018 from Tunis that he will run for the post of president in the next Libyan general election under the Popular Front for the Liberation of Libya (PFLL). Ayman Abu Ras, a spokesperson for the party, said that Gaddafi wished to focus on a programme of "reform" focused on reconstruction projects that would benefit all Libyans. [81] [82]

Personal life

In 2006, the German newspaper Der Spiegel and the Spanish newspaper La Voz de Galicia reported that Saif al-Islam was romantically linked to Orly Weinerman, an Israeli actress and model, they dated from 2005-2011. [83] [84] At the time, Weinerman publicly denied having any contact whatsoever with Saif al-Islam, but she has since admitted it, and in September 2012, she asked former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to intervene in his trial in order to spare his life. [85] [86]

In 2009, a party in Montenegro for his 37th birthday included well-known guests such as Oleg Deripaska, Peter Munk and Prince Albert of Monaco. [87]

British society

In the 2000s, Saif al-Islam was hosted at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle by the British royal family. [88] In 2011, he referred to former Prime Minister Tony Blair as a personal friend; Blair took an interest in advising Libya on oil revenues and finance. [89] In 2009, he spent a weekend at Waddesdon Manor, home of financier Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild, where he was the guest of Lord Mandelson and Nathaniel Philip Rothschild. He later stayed at the Rothschild holiday home in Corfu. Nathaniel Rothschild was a guest at Saif's 37th birthday celebration in Montenegro. [88] [89] [90]

Saif al-Islam received his PhD from the London School of Economics (LSE) in 2008. [91] Through the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation (GICDF), Saif pledged a donation of £1.5 million to support the work of the LSE's Centre for the Study of Global Governance on civil society organisations in North Africa. Following the LSE Libya Links affair, the LSE issued a statement indicating that it would cut all financial ties with the country and would accept no further money from the GICDF, having already received and spent the first £300,000 instalment of the donation. [92]

Critics have charged that Gaddafi plagiarized portions of his doctoral dissertation and pressure was put on the LSE to revoke his degree. [93] The LSE set up a review process to evaluate the plagiarism charges [94] in early 2011. [95] [96] In November 2011, the review panel concluded that the PhD should not be revoked. [97]

See also

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