Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam released from death row in Libya, says lawyer

Release made 'in accordance with law' and Mr al-Islam is 'well and safe and in Libya'

Katie Forster
Thursday 07 July 2016 11:24 BST
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi outside his father's residential complex in Tripoli in 2011
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi outside his father's residential complex in Tripoli in 2011 (Getty)

The son of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi has been released from prison, according to his lawyer.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was sentenced to death last July for alleged war crimes during the Arab Spring revolution that overthrew his father in 2011.

Mr al-Islam’s lawyer, Karim Khan, told France 24 his client had been set free on 12 April and is “well and safe and in Libya.”

The release was made “in accordance with [Libyan] law,” he said, suggesting Gaddafi’s second son would not face any future charges.

Mr Khan said Mr al-Islam was released under an amnesty declared before the UN-backed unity government led by Fayez al-Sarraj took over in March.

Mr al-Islam, who is 44 and has a PhD from the London School of Economics, is still wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed during his father’s regime.

According to Mr Khan, this case should be dropped, as Mr al-Islam has already been tried and sentenced in Libya.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, in court in Zintan, north west Libya (Reuters)

Mr al-Islam was held by a militia in Zintan, north west Libya, when he was sentenced to death by firing squad in absentia by a court in Tripoli.

He was found guilty of orchestrating a campaign of murder, torture and the bombardment of civilians, having denied all charges.

Eight others were also condemned to death, including the Libya's former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi, who as also Gaddafi's brother-in-law.

Muammar Gaddafi, commonly known as Colonel Gaddafi, originally took power in a coup in 1969.

He died in October 2011 after weeks of protests in disputed circumstances after being taken prisoner by opposition militia members.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in