CAIRO, Libya—Muammar Gaddafi, the deposed leader of Libya was captured and summarily executed in October 2011 during the battle of Sirte.
Gaddafi was found hiding in a culvert west of Sirte and captured by National Transitional Council (NTC) forces. He was killed shortly afterward. His son Saadi Gaddafi was then apprehended and imprisoned without trial.
Saadi has since been released having served more than seven years behind bars. “Saadi Muammar Gaddafi has been freed from prison,” a justice ministry source confirmed to AFP on Sunday. In accordance with a ruling handed down several years ago, added the source without confirming if he is still in the country or not.
Mohamed Hamouda, a spokesman for the transitional government, said the son walked free from Tripoli’s al-Hadaba prison, where many Gaddafi regime officials are being held pending trial mostly in connection to the crackdown in 2011 that toppled the longtime ruler.
However, media houses gathered Saadi had already taken a flight to Turkey. A source to the prosecutors’ office confirmed that Gaddafi had been freed.
“The chief prosecutor asked, several months ago, for the execution of the decision relating to Saadi Gaddafi as soon as all the required conditions had been satisfied,” said the source.
Saadi, now 47, was known for his playboy lifestyle during his father’s hay days in power. He fled to Niger during the fracas but was extradited back to Libya.
The former professional footballer had been held in Tripoli prison accused of crimes committed against protestors in 2011 and of the 2005 killing of Libyan football coach Bashir al-Rayani.
In April 2018, the court of appeal acquitted him of Rayani’s murder.
The dictator had eight children, most of whom played significant roles in his regime. His son Muatassim was killed at the same time Gaddafi was captured and slain. Two other sons, Seil al-Arab and Khamis, were killed earlier in the uprising.
Seif al-Islam, the one-time heir apparent to his father, has been in Libya since his release in 2017. Another son, Hannibal, is reportedly detained in Lebanon.