Saif al-Islam Gaddafi

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Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
Full Name: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
Origin: Tripoli, Libya
Occupation: Libyan Arab Jamahiriya official
Libyan Army soldier
Goals: Regain control of Libya on his father's behalf (failed)
Defeat rebel forces (failed)
Avenge his father (ongoing)
Avoid being prosecuted by the ICC (ongoing)
Crimes: War crimes
Crimes against humanity
Type of Villain: War Criminal

I am in Libya, I am alive and free and willing to fight to the end and take revenge.
~ Saif al-Islam Gaddafi

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi (Arabic: سيف الإسلام معمر القذافي‎; born 25 June 1972) is a Libyan political figure. He is the second son of the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his second wife Safia Farkash. He was a part of his father's inner circle, performing public relations and diplomatic roles on his behalf. He publicly turned down his father's offer of the country's second highest post and held no official government position.


According to American State Department officials in Tripoli, during his father's reign, he was the second most widely recognized person in Libya, being at times the de facto Prime Minister, and was mentioned as a possible successor, though he rejected this.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi graduated with a bachelor of science degree in engineering science from Tripoli's Al Fateh University in 1994. However, there is another report stating that he is an architect. He earned an MBA from Vienna's Imadec business school in 2000.

His paintings made up the bulk of the international Libyan art exhibit, "The Desert is Not Silent" (2002–2005), a show which was supported by a host of international corporations with direct ties to his father's government, among them the ABB Group and Siemens.

Gaddafi was awarded a PhD degree in 2008 from the London School of Economics, where he attended amid a series of contacts between the school and the Libyan political establishment. He presented a thesis on "The role of civil society in the democratisation of global governance institutions: from 'soft power' to collective decision-making?" Examined by Meghnad Desai (London School of Economics) and Anthony McGrew (University of Southampton), among the LSE academics acknowledged in the thesis as directly assisting with it were Nancy Cartwright, David Held and Alex Voorhoeve (the son of former Dutch minister Joris Voorhoeve). Professor Joseph Nye of Harvard University is also thanked for having read portions of the manuscript and providing advice and direction. Furthermore, allegations abound that Saif's thesis was in many parts ghost-written by consultants from Monitor Group, which earned $3 million per year in fees from Muammar Gaddafi.

Speaking in Sabha on 20 August 2008, Gaddafi said that he would no longer involve himself in state affairs. He noted that he had previously "intervene[d] due to the absence of institutions", but said that he would no longer do so. He dismissed any potential suggestion that this decision was due to disagreement with his father, saying that they were on good terms. He also called for political reforms within the context of the Jamahiriya system and rejected the notion that he could succeed his father, saying that "this is not a farm to inherit".

An arrest warrant was issued for him on 27 June 2011 by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for charges of crimes against humanity against the Libyan people, for killing and persecuting civilians, under Articles 7(1)(a) and 7(1)(h) of the Rome statute. He denied the charges. As of 2011, Gaddafi had strong public support from many portions of the Libyan society, as many viewed him as a reformer and a pacifist, contrary to how Western media portrayed him during the revolution.

Gaddafi was captured in southern Libya by the Zintan militia on 19 November 2011, after the end of the Libyan Civil War, and flown by plane to Zintan. He was sentenced to death on 28 July 2015 by a court in Tripoli for crimes during the civil war, in a widely criticized trial conducted in absentia. He remained in the custody of the de facto independent authorities of Zintan. On 10 June 2017, he was released from prison in Zintan, according to a statement from Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Battalion. Later the same month, his full amnesty was declared by the Tobruk-based government led by Khalifa Haftar. As of May 2018, Gaddafi remained wanted under his ICC arrest warrant for crimes against humanity.

Based on his outstanding warrant the International Criminal Court (ICC) asked the new government about Saif al-Islam Gaddafi's detention. The new government was unable or unwilling to comply with the ICC's information requests regarding Saif al-Islam. New deadlines for information requests from the ICC were also missed. A brief filed by the Office of Public Counsel for the Defence on behalf of Gaddafi claimed that "there is no basis for asserting that the ICC should defer the case to Libya". The brief requested the court to order Libya to immediately implement Gaddafi's rights, and report Libya to the Security Council if it does not.

In August 2012, the Libyan government announced that Saif al-Islam would stand trial in the western Libyan town of Zintan, in September 2012. However, the trial was subsequently delayed. On 17 January 2013, Saif al-Islam appeared in court in Zintan. However, trial was again delayed, and it wasn't until April 2014 that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi appeared in court in Tripoli, via video link for security reasons.

Libya appealed his extradition to the Hague Court (ICC), but the court affirmed the indictments. The court held that the Libyan government failed to show that Saif al-Islam faced the same charges in Libya as he did in the ICC.

On July 28, 2015, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was sentenced to death in absentia for war crimes by the "self-declared government" in Tripoli, Libya (he was being held in Zintan, not where the trial was held). However, the Zintan authorities have consistently refused to either hand him over to the Tripoli authorities or to implement their sentence. The trial and the sentence have been criticized by the United Nations human rights office (OHCHR) and by Human Rights Watch.