News24

Gaddafi son wants to surrender to ICC

2011-10-27 07:45

Tripoli - Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, who once vowed to die fighting on Libyan soil, now wants to face international justice instead and avoid any chance of meeting the same grisly end as his father, Libyan officials said.

An official of the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) said on Wednesday that Saif al-Islam, the only one of Muammar Gaddafi's eight children still on the run, had proposed surrendering to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has indicted him for war crimes.

Surrender by 39-year-old Saif al-Islam would close another chapter in the four-decade history of Gaddafi family rule, as the United Nations discusses an end to its Libyan mandate that allowed Nato to bomb the country and help rebels to take power.

He was widely seen as Muammar Gaddafi's favoured son and his heir apparent.

Saif al-Islam wanted to surrender to the Dutch-based ICC with his relative, former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, said Abdel Majid Mlegta, an official of the NTC which overran the last Muammar Gaddafi stronghold of Sirte a week ago.

"They are proposing a way to hand themselves over to The Hague," said Mlegta.

The ICC indicted Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam and Senussi for their roles in using force to try to put down the uprising which began in February.

An ICC spokesperson said it had no confirmation of any talks about Saif al-Islam's surrender.

Another u-turn

NTC officials have said Saif al-Islam is hiding in Libya's southern desert after failing to find a safe haven in a neighbouring country like Algeria or Niger, which have offered refuge to the other four Gaddafi children who survived the eight-month civil war.

Any surrender would mark a U-turn by Saif al-Islam, an internationally well-connected philanthropist and liberal reformer who turned abruptly into a soldier ready to die rather than capitulate when rebels rose up against his father.

"We fight here in Libya; we die here in Libya," he told Reuters Television in an interview earlier this year.

He now appears to prefer the prospect of a Dutch prison cell rather than risk falling into the hands of NTC forces.

NTC fighters seized Muammar Gaddafi last week after they overran his hometown of Sirte. Within hours he was dead, although it remains unclear who killed him, and his rotting corpse was put on public display for four days before being buried in a secret desert grave on Tuesday.

At the United Nations, envoys said the Security Council planned to end the UN authorisation this week for a no-fly zone and Nato intervention in Libya despite calls from the NTC for it to wait.

The Security Council made the authorisation in March to protect Libyans from the forces that Muammar Gaddafi had deployed to suppress pro-democracy uprisings across the country.

Libya's people were "looking forward to terminating the no-fly zone over Libya as well as terminating the mandate accorded by Security Council resolution 1973 to protect civilians as soon as possible", Libyan Deputy UN Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi told the 15-nation council on Wednesday.

Security situation


"In accordance with the initial assessments, the date of October 31 is a logical date to terminate this mandate," he said.

But he said the NTC had not yet made an official decision on whether to request termination of the UN mandate, which authorised members of Nato and other UN member states to take "all necessary measures" to protect Libyan civilians.

Nato bombing prevented Muammar Gaddafi's forces from taking the rebel stronghold of Benghazi and allowed often disorganised rebel units to eventually control the whole county.

Dabbashi said the government needed more time to assess the security situation in Libya and its ability to monitor its borders.

Western diplomats said issues the NTC had suggested it would like Nato to help with, including border security, fell outside the UN mandate to protect civilians and enforce a no-fly zone.

"The job was to protect civilians and from Nato's point of view, that mission has been accomplished," a diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity. "There's no point in delaying termination of the mandate."

Comments
  • Ann - 2011-10-27 08:03

    I really hope that in this case there will be no distasteful display of violence such as in the death of his father. Let him appear in an international court to answer for atrocities against civilians and explain the lavish lifestyle enjoyed by the Gadaffi's.

      JMan - 2011-10-27 08:05

      Agreed.

      zaatheist - 2011-10-27 09:33

      I agree as well. But it seems that whenever there is an article regarding Muslim tyrants in Libya, Syria or elsewhere that every Muslim nutter and praise singer emerges to make really infantile comments; freedom of speech comments they certainly could not make in these countries or most Muslim theocracies.

  • Barry - 2011-10-27 08:12

    A very brave man. The USA and NATO will want him dead to keep his mouth shut as I am sure some truths he would divulge about USA and NATO would shock us all.

      zaatheist - 2011-10-27 08:58

      Please, 12 year olds should be at school, not playing on the internet.

      neil.hamman - 2011-10-27 12:52

      Yes "zaatheist" what are you doing here than?... back to school!

  • Maluk - 2011-10-27 08:19

    it's better to be arrested rather to be killed, u cant trust the NTC

      roboman1 - 2011-10-27 10:00

      Like you could trust a Gaddafi?????

  • Daemon - 2011-10-27 08:27

    I wouldn't surrender to terrorist either. Let someone with Savvy show what Hippocrates NATO and the West really are, and bring out all the Wests dirty under dealings.

  • marco.tomaso - 2011-10-27 08:50

    Two days ago US President Barack Obama said on NBC's The Tonight Show With Jay Leno: "Gaddafi's death is a warning to others and sends a strong message to dictators around the world.This is somebody who, for 40 years, has terrorised his country and supported terrorism.He had an opportunity during the Arab Spring to finally let loose of his grip on power and to peacefully transition into democracy.We(NATO I guess)gave him ample opportunity,and he wouldn't do it". Whatever anyone makes of that is up to you individually.Question is does the Arab Spring mean that all roads lead to Democracy?Lets see by looking at Tunisia,Egypt and Libya. Tensions flared up in Tunis on Tuesday as citizens awaited the official announcement of electoral results in the country's first democratic elections.Hundreds of secular-leaning voters,feared that they had suffered a resounding defeat at the hands of the moderate Islamist party,Al Nahda,when they gathered in front of the electoral commission office and were carrying signs saying the election that just happenned was a fraud. Moez Ali,a founder of the Union of Independent Tunisians for Liberty,said:"We were expecting Al Nahda to win,but just not by so much".Speculative fear amongst Tunisians suggested that Al Nahda,the country's Islamist party had captured far more than the 30% of the seats expected even though only 5 of 33 electoral districts results had been posted thus far.

  • marco.tomaso - 2011-10-27 08:57

    Why did the secularists or the pro-Democracy parties performed so poorly in this election thus far?Party for Democratic Progress,Modern Democratic Pole,leftwing Ettakatol and The Congrès pour la Republique(CPR)all lost out against the Islamist party. Is Democracy really what these people of the Arab Spring want or is the West too arrogant and forward in forcing it down their throat?Are Democracies better than Dictators by Dictating to other nations how they should run their respective countries? The thing is that the term Democracy has no clear cut meaning in the Arab World.In Egypt another Arab Spring push for Democracy,the Muslim Brotherhood has shown a very significant readiness to take over post-Mubarak’s reign since the early days after their revolution. Which is not unusual because most Islamic groups are well structured and organized compared to other parties in Egypt's political arena.These Islamist groups have succeeded in gathering the masses since Colonial times around what known as the "religious identity" which made it hard for Rulers to either eliminate them or deprive them of their legitimacy in defending the "Islamic identity". A fact of life in the Arab world is that although many claim to accept Democracy for Egypt,it's still a heavily polarised atmosphere in their taking advantage of Islam as a "symbolic capital". Dr. Isam Aleryan a spokesman for Shariah Law(Islamic law)says:"It is not for compromising...

  • marco.tomaso - 2011-10-27 08:58

    and that voting for a constitutional amendment which would mean Islamising the constitution is a religious duty". And the same applies to the Libyan push for Democracy.The National Transitional Council(NTC) came out syaing long after speculations about their identity that post-Qaddafi Libya will be a "modern Islamic" state where Islamic law is the main source of its democratic constitution. So there it is.I guess when it comes to oil deals,genuine or pseudo democracy doesn’t matter much to the West now does it? No doubt, the Arab Spring was a great event in terms of liberating many people in the Arab World from fear and repression, yet in my view, Arab people may need another uprising, one that will detach them from the myth of a `glorious past’, especially in politics. Otherwise, the vicious circle will repeat itself

      roboman1 - 2011-10-27 10:05

      Interesting observations, but with certain naive processing. Of course it is about wealth and oil, otherwise Mugabe would be long gone.

      zaatheist - 2011-10-27 11:28

      @Roboman1 And how do you suggest the west could do anything about Mugabe. Zimbabwe is a land-locked country surrounded by sympathisers who would deny access and air space. Time will show that you are wrong about oil as the motivation - remember Gaddaffi built up a long list of enemies and he supported terrorism.

      roboman1 - 2011-10-27 12:31

      @atheist, be a believer man, Landlocked or not, USA could easily do something about Mugabe. In fact, Landlocked in some ways is easier, less seepage routes. No, Money and oil are the real issues, Iraq had oil, Afganistan has oil, Libya has oil..... seem pretty much the common denominator

      Barry - 2011-10-27 20:36

      @Zaatheist.... You really don't have a clue do you ? Bless you..

  • lhenama - 2011-10-27 11:51

    What must he do, obviously he can see that there's no way out other than to surrender to the ICC because obviously the rebels are out for his blood & I also wouldn't give my self on a silver platter to them.

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