Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, 39-year old second son of Moammar Gaddafi who was considered his heir, has been captured in the southern Libya desert by fighters who vowed to hold him in their mountain town of Zintan until there was an administration to hand him over to. He went underground as Tripoli fell to revolutionary forces in late August.
Saif al-Islam and three armed companions were taken without a fight overnight, officials said, and he was not injured — unlike his father, who was killed a month ago on Sunday after being captured in his home town.
“We have arrested Saif al-Islam Gaddafi in (the) Obari area,” Justice Minister Mohammed al-Alagy told Reuters, adding that the younger Gaddafi, wanted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court at The Hague, was not injured.
A fighter from the anti-Gaddafi force, the Khaled bin al-Waleed Brigade, which said it seized him in the wilderness near the oil town of Obari told Free Libya television: “We got a tip he had been staying there for the last month.
“THEY COULDN’T GET AWAY”
“They couldn’t get away because we had a good plan,” Wisam Dughaly added, saying Saif al-Islam had been using a 4×4 vehicle: “He was not hurt and will be taken safely for trial so Libyans will be able to prosecute him and get back their money.
“We will take him to Zintan for safekeeping to keep him alive until a government is formed and then we will hand him over as soon as possible,” Dughaly said.
He added that Saif al-Islam, once seen as a reformer who engineered his father’s rapprochement with the West but who is now wanted at The Hague for war crimes against the rebels, appeared to have been hiding out in the desert since fleeing the tribal bastion of Bani Walid, near Tripoli, in October.
Justice Minister Alagy said he was in touch with the ICC over how to deal with Gaddafi, either at home or The Hague.
He told Al Jazeera: “We Libyans do not oppose the presence of international monitors to monitor the trial procedures that will take place for the symbols of the former regime.”
Libya has been subject to international pressure after bloody death of Gaddafi under the hands of rebels.