Gaddafi

BENGHAZI, June 11: Saif al Islam Gaddafi, the British-educated son of the former Libyan dictator, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, has been released from jail.

He had been held by  Abu Bakr al-Sadiq Brigade since being captured by the rebel group in November 2011 as he tried to flee to neighbouring Niger from Tripoli.

There had been reports of Gaddafi, who was facing the death penalty, being released last year, but they were unconfirmed.

He was freed on Friday after an amnesty was agreed by the parliament based in the east of the country.

Gaddafi is understood to now be with rebels in Al-Bayda and is expected to address the country.

Ajmi al-Atiri, the commander of the brigade is due to release a statement explaining the release.

The most high profile of the dead dictator’s eight children, Al-Islam studied at the London School of Economics.

He was well known in London and his acquaintances included Lord Mandelson and the architect, Norman Foster.

Western diplomats earmarked him as a potential successor to his father, hoping he would pilot much-needed economic and political reforms.

But his moderate image evaporated when he sided with his father’s regime in an unsuccessful attempt to bring the rebels to heel.

It led to Gaddafi being sentenced to death and even though the sentence was commuted, he is still sought by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity.

Libya has struggled to establish any political stability since the death of Colonel Gaddafi after he was found by rebels hiding near Sirte. -AGENCIES

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