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Moammar Gadhafi's son extradited from Niger, now in Libyan custody

Moammar Gadhafi's son extradited from Niger, now in Libyan custody
Zintan Brigade/Facebook
Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 8:35am

Niger has extradited Moammar Gadhafi's son, Saadi , who has been transferred to a jail in Tripoli, the Libyan government said Thursday.

The North African country had been seeking the handover of Saadi Gadhafi, who fled across the border to Niger when rebel forces toppled his father in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011.

"He was handed to Libya and is now in the custody of the Libyan judicial police," the Libyan government said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

It thanked the leader of its southern neighbor for his cooperation.

Saadi, one of Gadhafi's seven sons, was a professional footballer and businessman before his father's downfall. Unlike his brother, Saif al-Islam, Gadhafi's heir apparent, he is not wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for war crimes.

Saif al-Islam was captured by rebel forces in late 2011 and remains in the hands of a militia in the small western mountain town of Zintan.

Seeking Gadhafi supporters

Pictures of Saadi, 40, wearing a blue uniform with his head shaven circulated widely on social media.

Niger had previously refused to hand over Saadi, with some officials saying he could face the death penalty in Libya.

He reportedly resided in a secured guesthouse in Niger's capital, Niamey, after fleeing across the Sahara desert.

In February 2012, a few months after he fled, he made a televised phone call warning of an imminent uprising in Libya, and saying he was in regular contact with people in the country who were unhappy with the new authorities.

Since the end of the conflict that came with Gadhafi's capture and killing in October 2011, Libya's new government has sought the extradition of several of his family members and ex-officials.

Other children

Several of Gadhafi's other sons were killed during the rebellion.

Saif al-Arab died in a NATO airstrike in spring 2011 and Khamis, who led the elite and widely feared Khamis brigade, was reported killed during the fighting. He died in a battle in northwestern Libya that August.

Around the time of his death, troops commanded by Khamis Gadhafi killed an estimated 150 captive civilians, during a retreat, hurling grenades and spraying bullets into a building full of men they had promised to release, a survivor said.

Another son, once national security adviser Mutassim, was killed near Gadhafi's last stronghold of Sirte in October 2011.

The former dictator's wife, Safia, fled with sons Mohammed, Hannibal and daughter Aisha to neighboring Algeria in late August 2011, along with extended family members.

They reportedly left there for Oman, where they were granted asylum. 

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