Saturday, 29 March 2014

Gaddafi son asks for forgiveness

Tripoli - Slain dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saadi
has asked Libyans for forgiveness in an interview
released by prison authorities three weeks after his
extradition from neighbouring Niger.

The videotaped interview, which was aired by state
television late Thursday, was filmed by warders at
the capital's Al-Hadba prison, where Saadi and
several other Gaddafi regime figures are being held,
with the blessing of the chief prosecutor, the
broadcaster said.

Saadi, who was extradited to face a series of charges
including "crimes to keep his father in power" before
his overthrow in the Nato-backed uprising of 2011,
asked for the "forgiveness of the Libyan people and
He admitted without elaborating that he had been
behind "acts of destabilisation against the country,"
the same accusation repeatedly levelled against him
by the Tripoli authorities in its long campaign for his
extradition from Niger.

Saadi, whose extradition had been strongly opposed
by human rights groups concerned that he might
face torture in prison, said he had been well treated
by his jailers.
"I want to reassure my family," Saadi told the
camera, adding that he was speaking on Thursday
"I am doing well, I am in good health and I am being
very well treated," he said, sitting at a desk in a blue
prison uniform.

Saadi was best known as the head of Libya's football
federation and a player who paid his way into Italy's
top division.
War crimes
The 40-year-old had been off the radar since fleeing
in a convoy to Niger across Libya's southern desert
in September 2011.

After hanging up his football boots, Saadi forged a
military career, heading an elite unit.
Days after the revolt began in the eastern city of
Benghazi, he appeared by his father's side in
military uniform, a Kalashnikov assault rifle slung
over his shoulder.
Unlike his brothers, however, no information
emerged during the eight-month uprising of him
taking part in combat.

Saadi's brother, Saif al-Islam, long their father's
right-hand man and heir apparent, is also in custody
in Libya awaiting trial on a raft of more serious
charges which prompted the International Criminal
Court to issue a warrant for his arrest for suspected
war crimes.
Interpol had issued a "Red Notice" for Saadi, for
"allegedly misappropriating properties through force
and armed intimidation when he headed the Libyan
Football Federation."

Libya had repeatedly called for Saadi's extradition
from Niger, which had granted him asylum on
"humanitarian" grounds saying it had insufficient
guarantees he would have a fair trial.

Niger said it handed over Gaddafi earlier this month,
over the objections of human rights groups, because
it no longer felt he would face the risk of
extrajudicial killing, and because it wanted to
improve ties with Libya.

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