Libya: Arrest warrant against Presidential hopeful Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi for murder

Libya’s military prosecution office has ordered the arrest of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, son of former leader Muammar Gaddafi, on the charges of murder and recruitment of foreign mercenaries.

The arrest warrant which circulated on social media this week, appeared to have been issued by the prosecution office deputy Mohammed Gharouda, on August 5.

The arrest warrant refers to case 114/2019 regarding killings by Russian Wagner Group mercenaries during the offensive by Khalifa Haftar’s forces on Tripoli, Libya Observer reports.

The Libyan media further notes that the military prosecution ordered, in October 2019, an arrest warrant that is still valid until today against Khalifa Haftar, his Chief of Staff Abdelrazik Al-Nathori, and Oun Al-Ferjani, as well as Sharif Al-Bouzaidi, regarding the same case (114/2019) that is related to the killing of Libyans by Wagner Group mercenaries.

Haftar with the backing of several countries launched an offensive to seize Tripoli but the assault was derailed with the support of Turkey and Qatar.

Captured in November 2011 by an armed group in Zenten, northwestern Libya, Saif Al-Islam was sentenced to death in 2015 after a summary trial. The group holding him nevertheless refused to hand him over to the authorities or to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is seeking him for “crimes against humanity.” The group released him in 2017, but since then, his trail has evaporated.

However, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi reappeared in May when he granted a rare interview to the New York Times. In the interview published early August, he said he wanted to “restore the lost unity” of Libya after a decade of chaos and talked about running for president.

“It’s time to go back to the past. The country is on its knees (…), there is no money, no security. There is no life here,” said Seif al-Islam, 49, who appeared for the first time in years.

In 2011, after four decades of undivided power, Muammar Gaddafi and those closest to him fell to a popular uprising, were eliminated, imprisoned or forced into exile. Three of Gaddafi’s sons were killed. The fourth son, Saif al-Islam, who had long been seen as his father’s successor, survived.

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