Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam has been arrested in southern Libya, according to NTC officials. The news was broken by the country’s justice minister and later confirmed by the Council’s spokesman Mohammed al-Allaqi, as quoted by Al Arabiya TV reports.
The National Transitional Council (NTC) has said they will provide video confirmation of Saif al-Islam’s capture in the coming hours. An NTC commander told reporters Saif was arrested near the town of Ubari along with three of his bodyguards, Al Arabiya reports. He is said to be in good health.
However, this is not the first time reports regarding Saif’s capture have circulated in Libya. As rebel forces drove into the heart of Tripoli on August 22, fighters claimed Saif had been captured.That report, which was later confirmed by the International Criminal Court (ICC), would later be proven false as Saif met with journalists a day later. And as the siege of Sirte was coming to an end on October 20, it was widely reported that Saif had either been killed or captured. Despite those rumors, it was later determined he had successfully managed to flee the city.
While Saif had vowed to die fighting in Libya, it was widely speculated that he fled to Niger on October 28. And though those rumors were never verified, Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou did confirm last Saturday that his country would grant asylum to Saif should he request it.
Saif, who was long expected to succeed Muammar Gaddafi, had vowed to fight on after his father’s brutal murder. He, along with his father’s former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against the Libyan people. Saif vehemently denies the charges.
The ICC issued warrants on June 27 over charges of crimes against humanity in crushing anti-regime protests.
It remains to be seen if the NTC will comply with UN Resolution 1970 and hand Saif over to the Hague tribunal.