By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 6 March 2014:
Saadi Qaddafi arrived in Tripoli in the early hours of this morning, after . . .[restrict]Niger finally agreed to extradite him.
“Saadi Muammar Qaddafi was extradited to Libya from Niger this morning and is currently being detained by Libya’s Judicial Police,” the Libyan government said in a statement released on its Facebook page and via its official Twitter account. Security sources confirmed that Saadi arrived at 2.50 am this morning at Tripoli’s Mitiga airbase and was transferred to Hadba Prison, where other leading members of the former regime, including Abdullah Senussi, are held.
The government was keen for Saadi, the third son of the former dictator, to receive just and fair treatment, reflecting international standards, the statement added.
Images of him with his head and beard shaved, whilst dressed in prison uniform are now widely-circulated on social media networks, although it is not clear if the picture has been doctored.
It is not yet clear what charges Saadi faces but it was alleged that, in the early days of the revolution, Saadi gave orders for Qaddafi forces to open fire on unarmed protestors.
The government thanked Niger, in particular President Mahamadou Issoufou, for its co-operation in the extradition.
Niger had consistently refused to hand over the footballer-turned-supposed Salafist who fled to the country in September 2011 despite repeated Libyan requests for him and other members of the former regime who had fled with him. It said the most it would do was hand him over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, although the ICC was not seeking him.
However, it became clear last month that views were changing in Niamey. Three weeks ago, Niger handed over former Qaddafi Internal Security Chief, Abdullah Mansour.
Whether cash has been paid to secure Saadi’s delivery, as alleged in the surrender of other Qaddafi regime figures abroad, is unlikely ever to be disclosed.
However, it is also believed that Niger had become exasperated with him for not keeping to the terms of his remaining in the country, by staying put in the house provided to him. In January, the Niger government ordered him back to house arrest after Qaddafi supporters seized the Tamenhint airbase near Sebha and sporadic pro-Qaddafi protests elsewhere in the country, all of which Saadi was accused of organising. [/restrict]