On Tuesday, the son of former dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was sentenced to death by a court in Libya. Saif al Islam Gaddafi, who was present in the court by video stream, was one of nine Libyans sentenced to death during a mass trial in Tripoli. Saif Gaddafi, along with the nine others, were accused of murder and inciting genocide during the country’s 2011 uprising.
Muammar Gaddafi’s 42 year regime was brought to an end by a six month uprising and a subsequent civil war which saw the US and NATO partners carrying out airstrikes against the Gaddafi regime. Gaddafi was later killed by the Libyan rebel forces after capturing him from a hiding place under a highway.
Since Gaddafi’s death, Libya has been a country in great turmoil and without a central governing authority. Two warring factions each claim to be the legitimate rulers of Libya. An internationally recognized parliament is based in Tobruk, while the capital Tripoli is held by its rivals, Libya Dawn.
Saif Gaddafi is being held in the southern town of Zintan by a rebel group who opposes the government in Tripoli. The Zintani rebels say that they would not execute him or hand him over to the court.
More than 30 close associates of Colonel Gaddafi were tried for preventing peaceful demonstrations during the uprising. Eight other ex-officials received life sentences and seven were sentenced to 12 years imprisonment, according to chief investigator Sadiq al-Sur, four were acquitted.
Saif Gaddafi is also wanted by the International Criminal Court for Crimes Against Humanity. He was educated at the London School of Economics and was once expected to replace his father as Libya’s leader.
– Sahara Reporters