Gaddafi’s son al-Saadi extradited back to Tripoli by Niger

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 March, 2014, 9:59pm
UPDATED : Friday, 07 March, 2014, 5:44pm

Niger yesterday extradited to Libya one of the late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's sons, al-Saadi, who fled as his father's regime collapsed in 2011 and who was under house arrest in the West African nation.

The Tripoli authorities said Saadi - one of the deposed leader's eight children - would be dealt with "in accordance with international law".

A Libyan official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Saadi arrived at Tripoli airport early yesterday and was transferred to a jail in the capital. Shortly after the news broke, photo circulated on social media showing Saadi in a blue prison uniform while Libyan guards shaved off his hair and beard.

Saadi was known for his love of professional soccer and a playboy lifestyle. His brief career in Italian football ended after a failed drug test. He headed Libya's Football Federation and was also the former head of the country's special forces.

Along with most Gaddafi loyalists and officials, Saadi is wanted for his role in curbing protests against his father's rule and the killing of protesters.

But unlike his brother, Saif al-Islam, who was groomed to be Gaddafi's successor, Saadi is not sought by the International Criminal Court.

Saif al-Islam is being held by a militia in the western Libyan town of Zintan, which refuses to hand him over to the central government for trial.

With yesterday's extradition, Saadi joins Saif al-Islam as the only two of Gaddafi's children currently in Libya. At least three other sons of Gaddafi were killed during the uprising while the rest of the children sought asylum in neighbouring Algeria, along with Gaddafi's wife and Saadi's mother, Safiya. The mother, a sister and two brothers, were granted asylum in Oman in 2012 and moved there from Algeria.

Niger had previously refused to comply with Libyan requests for Saadi, saying that once he was home he might be killed.

There have previously been tensions between the two African nations. While Libya criticised Niger for accommodating Gaddafi loyalists, Niger expressed concern about "the terrorist threat" posed by the lack of security in southern Libya, near its own border.



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