The Hague, August 22, 2011 (FH) - One of Muammar Gaddafi's sons, Saïf Al-Islam, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court, was arrested on Sunday night in the capital Tripoli. The news was announced by Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC), which represents the rebels, and confirmed by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Head of the NTC Moustapha Abdeldjeil told Al Jazeera: "We have issued  instructions to treat him well so that he can be brought to trial". The rebels entered Tripoli overnight.

1 min 24Approximate reading time

The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Saïf Al-Islam on June 27 for crimes against humanity committed in Libya in February 2011. He is accused of direct responsibility in crimes committed at the beginning of the Libyan rebellion. The ICC says Saïf Al-Islam was "de facto Prime Minister" and that together with his father he "conceived and orchestrated a plan to deter and quell, by all means, the civilian demonstrations against Gaddafi's regime".

At the beginning of the uprising in February, his offer to the rebels was to negotiate or "weep over hundreds of thousands of deaths". Saïf Al-Islam is Gaddafi's youngest son and was considered his likely successor.   He told a British newspaper that "when things were going well I was a reformer. However, when people cross the red line, I hit them with my shoe".

An architect with a qualification from the London School of Economics, Saïf Al-Islam was the modern face of the regime. He is head of the Gaddafi Foundation, set up as an intermediary in negotiations with victims of the UTA bombing, and also heads several oil and fincancial companies. In the last few months he has several times vowed that the regime would not surrender but would fight to the end. Several attempts to negotiate with the rebels failed.

 The UN Security Council referred the situation in Libya to the ICC on February 26, and on March 3, the prosecutor opened an investigation. On June 27, ICC judges issued three arrest warrants for Gaddafi, his son Saïf Al-Islam and his head of military intelligence Abdullah Al-Senoussi.


© Hirondelle News Agency