6-13 June: Zintan Says Saif al-Islam is Free

Jun 14, 2017 | Libyan actors

the Libyan National Army (LNA), said that Saif al-Islam al-Qadhafi, Muammar al-Qadhafi’s son, had been released from its custody. Apparently, Saif was released by order of the Justice Ministry of the House of Representatives’ (HoR) Bayda government, in accordance with a 2015 amnesty law pardoning certain crimes. Saif al-Islam’s British lawyer confirmed that Saif had been released and that he planned to make a statement at some point. However, Saif’s whereabouts remain unknown at present with some people claiming that he has fled to Tobruk and others that he is hiding in southern Libya.

His release has not been independently verified yet. If confirmed, it is likely to provoke greater tension between those who support the action and those who don’t. An LNA spokesperson welcomed Saif’s release. However, the HoR’s defense and security committee criticized the move. The Zintan Military and Municipal Council also condemned his release. The Government of National Accord’s (GNA) General Prosecutor declared that Saif was tried and sentenced for war crimes in Tripoli in absentia, therefore he must be apprehended.

On 9 June, the HoR and the LNA followed the lead of Saudi, the UAE and Egypt to issue a blacklist containing the names 75 Libyan individuals and 9 organizations who the HoR claims are linked to terrorism and are receiving financial support from Qatar. The list includes many militia leaders and business people, as well as members of political parties, the HoR, the former General National Congress (GNC) and the High Council of State (HCS). The HCS president Abdurrahman Swehli is on the list, despite the fact that the HoR is supposed to be entering into political discussions with Swehli soon to amend the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA). On 11 June, the Justice and Construction Party (JCP), the Libyan political party linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, protested against the HoR’s blacklist, saying “We consider this as defamation and it encroaches on the rights of citizenship and judiciary authorities.”