Gaddafi’s Son, Saif, Sentenced To Death | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Gaddafi’s Son, Saif, Sentenced To Death

Posted: Jul 29, 2015 at 3:55 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The son of former dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has been sentenced to death by a court in Libya.

Saif al Islam Gaddafi, who was not present at the ruling, was convicted during a mass trial in Tripoli of murder and inciting genocide during the country’s 2011 uprising.

He is being held in the southern town of Zintan by a rebel group that opposes the government in Tripoli and refuses to hand him over.

Eight others – including former Libyan Spy Chief, Abdullah al Senussi – were also sentenced to death by the court.

For three decades, Senussi – who is in government custody – was Colonel Gaddafi’s chief enforcer, accused of oppression at home and terrorism abroad.

Six other Gaddafi-era figures were sentenced to life in prison, while four were cleared of charges.

Saif Gaddafi is also wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity.

Educated at the London School of Economics, he was the most high profile of Colonel Gaddafi’s eight children.

He was once considered de-facto prime minister and tipped by Western governments to one day lead the country towards democracy.

But he refused to abandon his father when protests erupted in several Libyan cities in early 2011.

Colonel Gaddafi’s four-decade rule was eventually brought to an end by the six-month uprising and ensuing civil war, with the United Kingdom and its NATO partners carrying out airstrikes against the Gaddafi regime.

Colonel Gaddafi was eventually captured and killed by rebel fighters in his hometown of Sirte in October 2011.

A month later, Saif was found by fighters from the Zintan brigade trying to cross into Niger. He has been held ever since.

Three of Colonel Gaddafi’s sons were killed during the uprising, including former National Security Adviser Mutassim who was found hiding alongside his father.

The ex-dictator’s widow Safiya Gaddafi and three of their children – Aisha, Hannibal and Mohammed – fled to Algeria in August 2011 as rebel forces seized Tripoli. They have since been granted asylum.

Another son, Saadi Gaddafi, who had a brief career as a footballer in Italy, appeared in a Tripoli court in May on murder charges.

Since Colonel Gaddafi’s death, Libya has slid into chaos and hundreds of different militias have been fighting for control.

It is currently divided between an Islamist militia-backed government in the west that has seized Tripoli and an elected parliament and government based in the country’s east.