Uhuru-Spirit News


June 10, 2017 | Uhuruspirit

Saif al-Islam, the son of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi seen during the NATO-Libya war

Muammar Gaddafi's son, Saif al Islam, has been released from prison by rebels in western Libya.

He was being held by an armed group controlling the town of Zintan since November 2011.

The Abu Bakr al-Sadiq Brigade said Saif al Islam was released on Friday, "the 14th day of the month of Ramadan" under an amnesty agreed by the parliament based in the east.

According to reports from Libya, Saif al Islam is now with his relatives in the city of Al-Bayda, where he is expected to make a speech to the nation.

Saif, who studied at the London School of Economics, is the most high profile of Colonel Gaddafi's eight children.

He was seized by rebels as he tried to flee to neighbouring Niger in November 2011 when Tripoli was taken by anti-Gaddafi fighters.

He was sentenced to death by a court in Tripoli two years ago and remains on the wanted list of the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

Gaddafi himself was seized and killed in October 2011 after he was found near the city of Sirte during the NATO-sponsored imperialist war which has turned the country into a mess.

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

It is unclear what role the younger Gaddafi could play in Libya, where a complex array of armed groups and competing governments are vying for control.

But some in eastern Libya, where military commander Khalifa Haftar has been building power, have been pressing for Saif's release amid a push from former regime figures to reassert influence.

During the Libyan war, Saif al Islam had predicted that should his father fall Libya would be broken into small irreconcilable groups.

But Uhuruspirit editor-at-large Johnbul Osagie says there is a likelihood that the younger Gaddafi will eventually emerge as the new leader.

"Saif al Islam Gaddafi will eventually emerge as the new leader. The suppressed millions of people around Libya who supported his father still look up to him as their natural leader. His presence is capable of igniting a national movement that will push him into power," said Osagie.

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