Saadi Gaddafi, son of Muammar Gaddafi freed from jail

Saadi Gaddafi, son of Muammar Gaddafi freed from jail

According to media reports, Libyan authorities have freed Saadi Gaddafi, the son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who was overthrown and murdered during a 2011 revolt.

According to an official source, the 47-year-old promptly boarded an aircraft to Istanbul.

Saadi Gaddafi escaped to Niger after the 2011 uprising, but was extradited to Libya in 2014 and has been imprisoned in Tripoli ever since.

The former professional footballer was charged in 2011 with crimes against protestors and in 2005 with the murder of Libyan football coach Bashir al-Rayani.

He was acquitted of al-Rayani’s murder in April 2018.

A source at the prosecutor’s office told the AFP news agency that “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”.

He had the option to remain in the country or leave, according to the source.

In the ten years after the uprising, Libya has seen instability, conflict, and bloodshed. Three of Muammar Gaddafi’s sons were also murdered, in addition to Muammar Gaddafi.

In 2020, a truce brought a stop to the factional warfare, paving the door for peace negotiations and the establishment of a transitional government in March. Elections are set to take place in December.

According to media reports, Saadi Gaddafi’s release was the outcome of talks between top tribal leaders and Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh.

Former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha was also engaged in the talks, according to another source.

The New York Times reported in July that it had met Saadi’s brother, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, who has been imprisoned in the town of Zintan for years, and that his supporters are indicating that he would compete in the forthcoming presidential elections.

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