Libyan officials said Sunday that former leader Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saadi Gaddafi, who was ousted and killed during the 2011 uprising, has been released.
Official sources said he immediately flew to Istanbul.
Saadi, now 47, was known for his playboy lifestyle. FatherDictatorship
The former professional footballer was jailed in Tripoli on charges of crimes against protesters in 2011 and the 2005 assassination of Libyan football coach Bashir al-Rayani.
In April 2018, the Court of Appeals acquitted him of Ryan’s murder.
During the uprising, three of the dictator’s seven sons were killed, and since then the country has been in turmoil, with rival factions vying for power.
The 2020 ceasefire ended the fighting and paved the way for peace talks and the formation of an interim government in March ahead of elections in December.
But preparations are hampered by disputes among key stakeholders over when elections should be held, what elections should be held and on what constitutional grounds.
Libya has been plagued by chaos, division and violence in the decades since the uprising. The national unity government was installed as part of the peace process in March, with the aim of including elections in December.
Official sources said Gaddafi’s release was the result of talks involving senior tribal figures and Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dabeh. Another source said that former Home Minister Fathi Bashagha was also involved in the talks.
In 2018, the Justice Ministry said Gaddafi had not been found guilty of “murder, fraud, intimidation, slavery and defamation of former player Bashir Ryan”.
In July, the New York Times reported that it had interviewed Saadi’s brother, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, who had been imprisoned in the town of Zintan for years because his supporters said he would run in the December presidential election.
(France 24 with Reuters and AFP)