Lawyer claims Zintan released Gaddafi’s son Saif


The son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam, has reportedly been released from prison, more than four years after he was caught trying to flee the country by a rebel militia, despite being sentenced to death last year.

“He is well and safe and in Libya,” his lawyer Karim Khan told France 24, revealing that his client had been set free back on April 12, though the news had not been made public until now. Khan suggested that Gaddafi did not face any future charges, and was let go “in accordance with Libyan law.”

Gaddafi had been held by an autonomous militia in the inland city of Zintan, following his capture in November 2011, on the way to Niger in the wake of his father’s summary execution.

In 2015 a court in Tripoli, under control of Libya Dawn, a rival faction to the one holding him, sentenced him to death for ordering troops to fire at civilian targets, recruiting militia units, and inciting rape and murder during the Libyan civil war.

The trial was widely condemned by international organizations for slapdash judicial standards, and using confessions obtained under torture. Gaddafi was never handed over by the Zintan militia.

The 44-year-old Gaddafi is still wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for a host of crimes against humanity, and war crimes associated with his father’s regime. But Khan said that a repeat trial would constitute double jeopardy.

“It is prohibited to try an individual twice for the same offense,” he insisted.

The urbane, London School of Economics-educated Gaddafi was often considered the second-in-command in Tripoli in the latter part of his father’s rule, and was touted to become his successor, before the war broke out.

His also led a lavish lifestyle, in which he socialized with Europe’s most prominent politicians and tycoons, and dated a well-known Israeli actress.

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