Libya: Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi Taken To Zintan By Plane (Video)
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi has been transferred to Zintan by plane. The mountain city in the north boasts one of the largest concentrations of revolutionary troops in the country.
The 39-year-old, British-educated son of the late Colonel Gaddafi was captured early on Saturday morning near the town of Obari in the south. He was the last remaining member of the Gaddafi family still at large.
Following his capture, a picture was circulated on Facebook showing the prisoner wrapped in a brown blanket with injuries to his fingers. The injuries are believed to have been sustained in a Nato bombing raid following his flight from the town of Bani Walid in October.
News of the arrest sparked scenes of celebration in Tripoli and throughout the African desert state. Following his capture, information minister Mahmoud Shammam said that Saif will be put on trial in Libya to be "judged by Libyan law for his crimes".
However, militia leaders in Zintan could use Gaddafi's son as a bargaining tool to leverage power in the country's new government. It is conspicuous that Saif was taken to Zintan and not to Tripoli only a hundred miles away. Still, NTC officials remain adamant that the prisoner will stand trial for a raft of serious crimes, some of which carry the death penalty.
"He has instigated others to kill, has misused public funds, threatened and instigated and even took part in recruiting and bringing in mercenaries," said Mohammed al-Alagi, the interim justice minister.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague urged the NTC to ensure Saif is held to account. "I welcome the arrest of Saif al-Islam. This represents another significant step forward in the transition to a new, democratic Libya,” he said. Hague said justice includes a trial by the International Criminal Court.
In a statement, David Cameron said he had been given assurances by NTC officials that Saif would receive a fair trial. Speaking after the capture, the British prime minister said the arrest shows that "we are near the end of the final chapter of the Gaddafi regime".
"It is a great achievement for the Libyan people and must now become a victory for international justice too. He could have contributed to a more open and decent future for his country, but instead chose to lead a bloody and barbaric campaign against his own people. The fate of the Gaddafis should act as a warning to brutal dictators everywhere."
According to Ahmed Ammar, one of the men that captured the former playboy, the ambush took place at 1.30am (local) following a tip off.Saif was believed to be fleeing to Niger in a convoy of cars. The militia stopped the vehicles and quickly identified the wanted man. "At the beginning he was very scared," said Ammar. "He thought we would kill him."
According to Sky News, the aircraft was met by an angry mob who tried to board the plane. During the flight, a reporter for Reuters spoke to the captive, who informed her he was feeling alright.