Saif al-Islam: Gaddafi's son 'released after more than five years of detention'

Battalion officials at Zintan, a town south of the capital Tripoli, confirmed his release

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

Saif al-Islam, the son and one-time heir apparent of late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, has been released after more than five years in detention, his captors said.

A statement by his captors, the Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Battalion, said Saif al-Islam was released on Friday, but gave no details on his whereabouts.

Battalion officials at Zintan, a town south of the capital Tripoli, confirmed his release. They declined to disclose his whereabouts, citing concerns over his safety.

They said his release was decided as part of a recent pardon issued by the Libyan parliament based in the country's eastern region.

The parliament in the city of Tobruk is part of one of three rival administrations in Libya, evidence of the chaos that has prevailed in the country since Gaddafi's ouster and death.

Gaddafi's son was captured by the battalion's fighters late in 2011, the year when a popular uprising toppled Gaddafi after more than 40 years in power.

The uprising later plunged the oil-rich North African nation into a ruinous civil war in which Mr al-Islam led Gaddafi's loyalist forces against the rebels.

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.

Associated Press

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