Libya frees Muammar Gaddafi's son Saadi from jail

Monday September 06 2021
Saadi Gaddafi

Saadi Gaddafi, son of Libya's late dictator Muammar Gaddafi. He has been freed from jail. PHOTO | AFP



Saadi Gaddafi, son of Libya's late dictator Muammar Gaddafi who was overthrown and killed in a 2011 uprising, has been freed from jail, a justice ministry source confirmed to AFP Sunday.

"Saadi Muammar Gaddafi has been freed from prison," in accordance with a court ruling handed down several years ago, said the source, without adding whether he was still in the country.

Several media reports on Sunday suggested Gaddafi had already taken a flight to Turkey.

A source at the prosecutor's office confirmed to AFP that Gaddafi had been freed.

"The chief prosecutor asked, several months ago, for the execution of the decision relating to Saadi Gaddafi as soon as all the required conditions had been satisfied," said the source.


Free to stay

Gaddafi was free to stay in the country or leave, the source added.

Saadi, now 47, was known for his playboy lifestyle during his father's dictatorship.

He fled to Niger following the uprising that toppled his father before being extradited back to Libya.

The former professional footballer had been held in a Tripoli prison, accused of crimes committed against protesters in 2011 and of the 2005 killing of Libyan football coach Bashir al-Rayani.

In April 2018, the court of appeal acquitted him of Rayani's murder.

Three sons killed

During the uprising, three of the dictator's seven sons were killed, and the country has since sunk into chaos, with rival factions vying for power.

A 2020 ceasefire ended the factional fighting and paved the way for peace talks and the formation of a transitional government this March, ahead of elections set for December.

But preparations are marred by disputes between key stakeholders over when to hold elections, what elections to hold, and on what constitutional grounds.