Entries in Saif Gadhafi (6)


Libya Defies International Court's Demand for Saif Gadhafi

DARIO LOPEZ-MILLS/AFP/Getty Images(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- Libya's new government has rebuffed the international body seeking to try Saif al-Islam Gadhafi for war crimes, instead showing off a new, specially built courtroom in Tripoli where it says the former Libyan strongman will stand trial instead.

"We will respect the international law but we do have a lot of respect for our Libyan law and I guarantee you there will be no problem," said interim prime minister Abdurrahim el-Keeb on Tuesday.

Last week the International Criminal Court, a Netherlands-based war crimes body established by the United Nations, ordered Libya to hand over the 39-year-old, who has been held prisoner by a militia since his capture last fall just weeks after his father's death. The ICC said Tuesday that Libya had asked for a delay until after the country can hold its own trial. Saif faces charges of corruption, murder and rape and could be sentenced to death.

The Libyan government told the ICC that it "regards the trial of Saif a matter of the highest national importance," according to an ICC statement.

Human rights groups have asked that the Libyans turn Saif over to the international court. "This clear ruling by the ICC judges should effectively bring an end to the long-running saga over the fate of Saif al-Islam," said Marek Marczynski, head of Amnesty International's International Justice Team, on April 5. "Libya must act on the ICC's decision and surrender Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi without further delay. An unfair trial before a Libyan court where the accused could face the death penalty is no way to guarantee justice and accountability."

But the Libyan government has converted a former military school into a courtroom instead, complete with carpeting and a black wire cage for defendants, and has painted the building in the colors of the new Libyan flag. Meanwhile, Saif is still being held in Zintan, more than 100 miles from Tripoli.

The ICC said Wednesday that Saif had told ICC officials who met with him in Zintan in March that he wanted to be tried in Libya before being shipped to The Hague.

"I hope I can be tried here in my country, whether they will execute me or not," he told two ICC officials, according to a report dated March 5.

But the report also said Saif seemed to be making the statement for the benefit of the Libyan prosecutor, who was present during the interview.

The report also said that Saif seemed to indicate nonverbally that he had been mistreated, pointing to two damaged fingers on his left hand and a missing tooth.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gadhafi's Heirs: Dead Dictator's Sons Speak Out

ABC News(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- Just one of Moammar Gadhafi's eight children is still unaccounted for following the Libyan dictator's death last week, and although he is currently wanted by the International Criminal Court, Libya's former heir apparent is still trying to reclaim his father's glory.

Saif Al-Islam Gadhafi, the London-educated son who was to succeed his father and carry on the dynasty, is possibly still at large.  Libya's interim government had said he was captured this weekend, but at the very same time the 39-year-old appeared on Syrian television.

"We continue our resistance.  I'm in Libya, alive, free and intend to go to the very end and exact revenge," Saif Al-Islam Gadhafi was heard saying on Syrian TV.  "I say go to hell, you rats and NATO behind you.  This is our country, we live in it, and we die in it and we are continuing the struggle."

The short message was broadcast on Syrian TV station Al-Rai on Sunday and was soon uploaded by several users onto YouTube.  It's not clear if the audio-only message was broadcast live or was a recording.  The Al-Rai station broadcasts into Libya, and in the past has broadcast messages from Moammar Gadhafi.

As the hunt for Saif intensifies, his brother Saadi Gadhafi, who escaped the country in September as rebel forces began to close in, has publicly lashed out about the death of his father and brother.

Under house arrest in Nigeria, Saadi issued a blistering condemnation of the way his father was treated after capture.

"These barbaric executions and the grotesque abuse of the corpses make it clear that no person affiliated with the former regime will receive a fair trial in Libya," he said through his publicist.

As news and video footage of Moammar Gadhafi's death surfaced, the United Nations' High Commission for Human Rights called for an investigation into the events surrounding his death; though video seems to show him in rebel custody, he allegedly died in "crossfire" -- a claim disputed by witnesses who say the fighting was over at that point.

The fate of one of Gadhafi's other sons, Moutassim Gadhafi, is quite clear however: his body now lies with his father's on display in a meat refrigerator for all of Libya to see.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Saif Gadhafi to ABC News: Americans Supporting Terrorists

ABC News(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- Saif Gadhafi, son of Libyan leader Colonel Moammar Gadhafi, said he was surprised by the Western coalition attack launched against Libya, but said that his father has no plans to step down from his position.

"We were surprised that you know the Americans and the British and the French attacked Libya, attacked five cities. Terrorized people, and especially children, women, were so afraid yesterday," Saif Gadhafi said. "So it was big surprise that finally President Obama, we thought he was a good man and friend of Arab world, is bombing Libya."

He denied the Libyan government had continued attacks against rebel forces in Benghazi, saying the city was controlled by "terrorists" and "armed militia."

"Our people went to Benghazi to liberate Benghazi from the gangsters and the armed militia," Gadhafi said. "So if you, if the Americans want to help the Libyan people in Benghazi. So go to Benghazi and liberate Benghazi from the militia and the terrorists. So go do it."

Gadhafi dismissed the notion that his father would step down from his position because of the air strikes against Libya.

"Step aside why?," Gadhafi questioned. "Again, there is a big misunderstanding. The whole country is united against the armed militia and the terrorists. Simply the Americans and the other western countries, you are supporting the terrorists and the armed militia. That's it."

Gadhafi said that Libyans were "angry" with Americans for the air strikes, but denied that there would be Libyan retaliation against Western targets, including commercial flights around the Mediterranean.

"No, this is not our target," Gadhafi said. "Our target is how to help our people in Libya, especially in Benghazi. Believe me, they are living a nightmare. A nightmare, really."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gadhafi Defiant: Vows to Repel 'Crusader Aggression'

ABC News(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- In his first comments since the U.S. and allied forces began an assault on Libyan military targets this weekend, Col. Moammar Gadhafi said that he’s prepared for a long and arduous war.

“You're not capable of a prolonged war in Libya,” Gadhafi said. “We consider ourselves ready for a long war.”

A defiant Gadhafi pledged to press forward with attacks on the rebel-held city of Benghazi and vowed to repel a "colonial crusader aggression" by international forces.

"We ask others to stand by us," he said. "We must now open the weapons depot and arms to all Libyans."

“We even train the women to fight. They are trained to carry weapons and use arms,” Gadhafi said in a phone call to State TV.

“For sure,” he said, “we're going to end up victorious. We will win.”

Also on Sunday, ABC’s Christiane Amanpour spoke exclusively with Gadhafi’s son, Saif Gadhafi, who maintained that retreat is not part of his father’s plan.

Amanpour will have more on her global exclusive with Saif Gadhafi today on ABC's This Week and throughout the day on your ABC News Radio station.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Libya to Release Four Captured 'New York Times' Journalists

US State Department(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- The four New York Times journalists who were captured by Libyan government forces earlier this week will all be released Friday, according to the newspaper.

The Times reports that Libyan government officials informed the U.S. State Department Thursday that Anthony Shadid, Stephen Farrell, Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario would all be freed.

The paper reported Wednesday that the four journalists had gone missing Tuesday and were believed to have been swept up by government forces in Ajdabiyah after entering the region through the Egyptian border without visas.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gadhafi's Son: U.N. Resolution on Libya 'Unfair'

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The United States and its allies appear poised to take military action on the heels of a U.N. resolution Thursday imposing a no-fly zone over Libya and authorizing "all necessary measures" to protect civilians.

Following the resolution, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, the son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, reacted to the developments in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Christiane Amanpour.

When asked if he was worried about the actions that may stem from the United Nations' decision, Saif said, "I think we are in our country and with our people.  As I said before, we live here so we are in our country with our people.  And we are not afraid."

Saif found the resolution to be "unfair because, as you know, from the beginning we told to everybody there were no air strikes against civilians, no bombing of civilian districts or demonstrations.  And thousands of those reports showed they were false."

Throughout the interview, he reiterated that the Libyan army has been going after armored militia and terrorists, not civilians, and that the people of Libya are not happy and are pleading to be liberated.

"We want to live in peace, so we want even Americans to help us get rid of the remnants of those people [armored militia and terrorists] and to have a peaceful country, more democratic," Saif said.  "If you want to help us, help us to, you know, to be democracy, more freedom, peaceful, not to threaten us with air strikes.  We will not be afraid.  Come on!  We will not be afraid."

"I mean, you are not helping to the people if you are going to bomb Libya, to kill Libyans," he added.  "You destroy our country. Nobody is happy with that.  If you want to help us help us against terrorists, help us to build the new Libya with more democracy, more freedom, new constitution, local governments, et cetera.  But if you want to help Libyans, you send airplanes to bomb my country?  Of course not."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio