Saif al-Islam Gaddafi

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Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
سيف الإسلام معمر القذافي
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi 2021.png
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi in November 2021
Personal details
Saif al-Islam Muammar Gaddafi
سيف الإسلام معمر القذافي

(1972-06-25) 25 June 1972 (age 50)
Tripoli, Libyan Arab Republic
Political partyPopular Front for the Liberation of Libya
Domestic partnerOrly Weinerman
Alma materAl Fateh University
London School of Economics[1]
ProfessionEngineer, Diplomat, Painter, Philanthropist, Soldier
WebsiteGaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation
Military service
Allegiance Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Branch/serviceLibyan Army
Gaddafi loyalists
Years of service2011
Battles/warsFirst Libyan Civil War

Saif al-Islam Muammar al-Gaddafi (Arabic: سيف الإسلام معمر القذافي; born 25 June 1972) is a Libyan political figure. He is the second son of the late 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.[2] He publicly turned down his father's offer of the country's second highest post and held no official government position. According to United States Department of State 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,[3] and was mentioned as a possible successor, though he rejected this.[4] 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,[5] under Articles 7(1)(a) and 7(1)(h) of the Rome statute.[6] He denied the charges.

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 criticised trial conducted in absentia. He remained in the custody of the de facto independent authorities of Zintan.[7] On 10 June 2017, he was released from prison in Zintan, according to a statement from Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Battalion.[8] Later the same month, his full amnesty was declared by the Tobruk-based government led by Khalifa Haftar.[9] As of December 2019, Gaddafi remained wanted[10] under his ICC arrest warrant for crimes against humanity.[6] On 14 November, he attempted to register as a candidate in the 2021 Libyan presidential election,[11] but was rejected.[12] This decision was overturned less than a month later, reinstating him as a presidential candidate.[13][14][15]

Early life and career[edit]

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.[16] He earned an MBA from Vienna's Imadec business school in 2000.

There are two different stories about his mother's origin. One is that his mother, Safia Farkash, is from a family from the Eastern Libyan Barasa tribe and that she was born in Bayda and was trained as a nurse.[17] The other is that she is of Hungarian descent.[18][19][20]

Saif's paintings made up the bulk of the international Libyan art exhibit, "The Desert is Not Silent" (2002–2005),[21] 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.[22]

In 2005, Gaddafi was awarded a "Young Global Leader" title by the World Economic Forum.[23]

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?"[24][25] 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.[26][27] Alongside accusations of plagiarism, 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.[28]

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",[29] 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".[29]

Charity and social affairs[edit]

Gaddafi was the president of the Libyan National Association for Drugs and Narcotics Control (DNAG). In 1998,[30] he founded the official charity, the Gaddafi International Foundation for Charity Associations, which intervened in various hostage situations involving Islamic militants and the crisis of the HIV trial in Libya and the resulting European Union-Libyan rapprochement.

In 2009, both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch were allowed entry to Libya, via Gaddafi's non-profit organization in order to gather facts about the human rights situation in Libya.[31][32] While AI and HRW reported that there were concerns about the "repressive atmosphere," both felt there were signs of "improvement" and HRW said that one should not "underestimate the importance of the efforts made so far" by Gaddafi in the realm of human rights in Libya.[33]

In December 2010, Gaddafi announced that his charity foundation "will no longer be involved in promoting human rights and political change in the North African country," and that instead, it "will focus on its 'core charitable mission' of delivering aid and relief to sub-Saharan Africa."[34]

International diplomacy[edit]

Gaddafi was instrumental in negotiations that led to Libya's abandoning a weapons of mass destruction programme in 2002–2003. He arranged several important business deals on behalf of the Libyan regime in the period of rapprochement that followed. He was viewed as a reformer, and openly criticised the regime:[35]

[a] congressional aide asked him what Libya needed most. His one-word answer: democracy.

"You mean Libya needs more democracy?" the aide asked.

"No. 'More democracy' would imply that we had some," Gaddafi said.

In 2003, he published a report critical of Libya's record on human rights.

On 10 December 2004, shortly before a trip by Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin to Tripoli, in an interview with The Globe and Mail Gaddafi requested a formal apology from the Canadian government, for joining U.S.-led sanctions against Libya after the Lockerbie bombing, and for denying him a student visa to study in Canada in 1997. His request was met with incredulity in Canada, and the Canadian government announced that no apology would be forthcoming.

HIV trial[edit]

Gaddafi played an important role in the HIV trial in Libya. At first he rejected information the medics were tortured. "During this time we saw Gaddafi's son on a television broadcast categorically denying that Libya still tortured suspected criminals", claimed Valya Chervianashka, one of the accused nurses in her autobiography. Later he admitted in interviews that the Bulgarian nurses, charged with conspiring to deliberately infect over 400 children with HIV in 1998, had been tortured and that the government had denied them a fair trial. His admissions were said to have badly damaged his reputation in Libya.[3]

The torture process is confirmed and described in details in the book Notes from Hell,[36][failed verification] co-written by one of the nurses, Valya Chervianashka. Saif al-Islam was mentioned several times in the book. According to her:

One day, the executive director of Muammar al-Gaddafi's son's foundation, the Gaddafi International Foundation for Charity Associations (GICDF), arrived at the prison, inviting us to the director's office of the women's wing for a meeting. We were in our pyjamas, dishevelled and unprepared. We hastily put on some clothes and hurried to meet the director. A Libyan man along with Ambassador Lyudmil Spassov and Roumen Petrov waited for us outside the office. The Ambassador told us, "This is a very important person. He will help you; he is on your side." Saleh Abdel Salam, executive director of GICDF, was intimidating. We didn't realise it then, but this Libyan man would indeed help us in the future.

Isratine proposal[edit]

Saif introduced the Isratine proposal to permanently resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict through a secular, federalist, republican, binational one-state solution.[37]

Philippine peace process[edit]

Gaddafi served as Chairman of the Gaddafi International Foundation for Charitable Associations. In this role, he was involved in a number of humanitarian initiatives. Notably, he hosted peace talks between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Tripoli.[38] In the resulting peace agreement concluded on 22 June 2001, Gaddafi was expressly thanked for his involvement.[38] He was also the witness to the signing of the peace agreement.[38] The peace agreement forms a part of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro concluded in 2014.[39]

2008 agreement with Italy[edit]

Gaddafi was involved in negotiating compensation from Libya's former colonial power, Italy, and on 30 August 2008 a Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation Agreement was signed in Benghazi by his father and Italy's prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.[40] However, the treaty was unilaterally suspended by Italy at the beginning of 2011, after Italy refused to consider Gaddafi government as their interlocutor.[41]

Compensation for American terror victims[edit]

He was also negotiating with the United States in order to conclude a comprehensive agreement making any further payments for American victims of terror attacks that have been blamed on Libya – such as the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing, the 1988 Lockerbie bombing and the 1989 UTA Flight 772 bombing – conditional upon U.S. payment of compensation for the 40 Libyans killed and 220 injured in the 1986 United States bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi. On 14 August 2008, the U.S.-Libya Comprehensive Claims Settlement Agreement was signed in Tripoli. Former British Ambassador to Libya Oliver Miles described the agreement as "a bold step, with political cost for both parties" and wrote an article in the online edition of The Guardian querying whether the agreement is likely to work.[42]

In an August 2008 BBC TV interview, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi said that Libya had admitted responsibility (but not "guilt") for the Lockerbie bombing simply to get trade sanctions removed. He further admitted that Libya was being "hypocritical" and was "playing on words", but said Libya had no other choice on the matter. According to Gaddafi, a letter admitting "responsibility" was the only way to end the economic sanctions imposed on Libya. When asked about the $10m (£5.3m) compensation that Libya was paying to each victims' family, he again repeated that Libya was doing so because it had no other choice. He went on to describe the families of the Lockerbie victims as "trading with the blood of their sons and daughters" and being very "greedy", saying, "They were asking for more money and more money and more money".[43]

Diplomacy for extraditing Libyans[edit]

Interviewed by French newspaper Le Figaro on 7 December 2007, Gaddafi said that the seven Libyans convicted for the Pan Am Flight 103 and the UTA Flight 772 bombings "are innocent".[44] When asked if Libya would therefore seek reimbursement of the compensation paid to the families of the victims (US$2.33 billion), Gaddafi replied: "I don't know."[44] Gaddafi led negotiations with Britain for the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the convicted Pan Am 103 conspirator.[35]

In 2007, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Tripoli, with whom it is alleged he helped broker an arms deal, including missiles.[45][46][47]

In November 2008, Gaddafi made a high-profile visit to the United States where he met with US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. During the meeting, Rice raised the case of Libya's jailed political dissident and democracy activist, Fathi El-Jahmi.[48] In a Forbes article in 2009, Fathi's brother wrote that "for nearly a year, both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch hesitated to advocate publicly for Fathi's case, because they feared their case workers might lose access to Libyan visas."[49]

In 2009, Saif al-Islam welcomed Sarah Leah Whitson, director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East division, into Libya, accompanying her in meeting with many government officials and others during her visit. She wrote of her official visit that "the real impetus for the transformation rests squarely with a quasi-governmental organization, the Qaddafi Foundation for International Charities and Development" chaired by Gaddafi. She praised Gaddafi for establishing the country's two semi-private newspapers, and said "it is impossible to underestimate the importance of the efforts made so far. Let's hope this spring will last."[50]

Stand-off with US officials[edit]

In 2009, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi claimed that Libya's opinion of him was shaped largely by his role in Libya's engagement with the West, saying "If something goes wrong, people will blame me, whether I am in a certain official position or not." He expressed frustration with the US, saying Libya's decision to give up its weapons of mass destruction program was contingent upon "compensation" from the US, including the signing of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, economic cooperation, and cooperation in purchasing conventional weapons and military equipment. He stated, "We share rich natural resources – oil and gas – along the borders, yet we have no capacity to defend that wealth." Because of a US legal embargo, Libya cannot purchase weapons from the United States, Sweden, or Germany, and has been disallowed from buying "Tiger" vehicles with American-manufactured engines from Jordan. He asked for greater military assistance, as Libya had committed itself to destroying chemical stockpiles, but would require at least $25 million to do so. Gaddafi said the United States had "humiliated" his father during his visit to New York City in 2009, and said that his father's tent and residence issues were disappointing and his UN speech had been misinterpreted. Gaddafi said that his father was barred from visiting Ground Zero, which also frustrated him. Gaddafi held a standoff with US officials in November 2009, refusing to send a shipment of Highly Enriched Uranium back to Russia unless the United States renewed its commitment to cooperation with Libya.[51]

Libyan civil war[edit]


On 19 February, several days after the conflict began, Saif al-Islam announced the creation of a commission of inquiry into the violence, chaired by a Libyan judge, as reported on state television. He stated that the commission was intended to be "for members of Libyan and foreign organizations of human rights" and that it would "investigate the circumstances and events that have caused many victims."[52] Later in the month, he went on state television to deny allegations that the government had launched airstrikes against Libyan cities and stated that the number of protesters killed had been exaggerated.[citation needed]

On 20 February 2011, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi delivered an address to the nation on Libyan state television stating that if no agreement could be found between protesters and the government "thousands of deaths, and rivers of blood will run through Libya". He also insisted that his father remained in charge with the army's backing and would "fight until the last man, the last woman, the last bullet."[53] Speaking on Libyan state TV, Saif al-Islam blamed the civil war on tribal factions and Islamists acting on their own agendas, drunken and drugged.[clarification needed] He promised reforms, and said the alternative would be civil war blocking trade and oil money and leading to the country being taken over by foreigners.[54] He closed by saying, "We will not let Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya and BBC trick us." Oliver Miles, a former British Ambassador to Libya, disagreed with his assessment.[55][56] In an interview with ABC News reporter Christiane Amanpour, Saif al-Islam denied that his father's regime was killing civilians.[57]

On 2 May 2011, Saif al-Islam and his older half-brother Muhammad were among the 2,000 mourners who attended his younger brother Saif al-Arab's funeral. He was seen touching his younger brother’s chest while fighting back tears before leaving the graveside while pumping his fist to the crowd.[58] Saif al-Arab and three of Muammar Gaddafi's grandchildren had been killed by an NATO airstrike on 30 April 2011.[59]

In June 2011, Saif al-Islam and his father, Muammar, announced that they were willing to hold elections and that Muammar Gaddafi would step aside if he lost. Saif al-Islam stated that the elections could be held within three months and transparency would be guaranteed through international observers. NATO and the rebels rejected the offer, and NATO soon resumed their bombardment of Tripoli.[60]

On 27 June 2011, an arrest warrant was issued by the ICC.[61] On 1 July, Saif al-Islam had an interview with Russia Today, where he denied the ICC's allegations that he, or his father, ordered the killing of civilian protesters. He pointed out that he was not a member of the government or the military, and therefore had no authority to give such orders. According to Saif al-Islam, he made recorded calls to General Abdul Fatah Younis, who later defected to the rebel forces, requesting him not to use force against protesters, to which Younis responded that the protestors were attacking a military site, where surprised guards fired in self-defence. Younis was later assassinated by his fellow rebels on 28 July, allegedly for secret communication with Saif.[62][63]

Saif al-Islam condemned NATO for bombing Libyan civilians, including his family members and their children, under the false pretence that their homes were military bases. He stated that NATO offered to drop the ICC charges against him and his father if they accept a secret deal, an offer they rejected. He thus criticised the ICC as "a fake court" controlled by NATO member states.[64]

In August 2011, Saif al-Islam gave an interview to the New York Times stating that Libya was becoming more closely aligned to Islamists and would likely resemble Iran or Saudi Arabia. Saif al-Islam said that his father was working closely with Islamists within the rebellion to splinter the resistance.[65]

On 21 August, the National Transitional Council claimed that Saif al-Islam was arrested by the National Liberation Army, pursuant to an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court.[66] However, on the early morning of 23 August, Saif al-Islam was seen by Western journalists apparently moving around under his own free will outside the Rixos Hotel.[67][68]

After the fall of Tripoli, Saif al-Islam went to Bani Walid. His brother, Al-Saadi, contacted CNN, stating that he had the authority to negotiate on behalf of loyalist forces, and wished to discuss a ceasefire.[69] On 5 September, Al-Saadi said in an interview with CNN that an "aggressive" speech by his brother Saif al-Islam had led to the breakdown of the negotiations between NTC forces and Gaddafi loyalists in Bani Walid. Saif al-Islam stayed in Bani Walid until the town was captured by NTC forces.[70]

On 17 October, after leaving Bani Walid, his convoy was hit by a NATO air attack at Wadi Zamzam where he lost 26 of his supporters and 9 military vehicles.[71] His right hand was wounded and according to his own explanation it happened during the NATO air strike. According to the Libyan Al Mashhad Al Leebi program, the fingers of his right hand were cut off.[72]


With the death of his father Muammar and his brother Mutassim Gaddafi in Sirte on 20 October 2011, Saif al-Islam was the only member of the Gaddafi family left in Libya. He appeared on Syrian pro-Gaddafi television on 22 October claiming "I am in Libya, I am alive and free and willing to fight to the end and take revenge",[73] but his whereabouts were unknown and subject to many rumours.

An international team of lawyers representing the interests of Saif al-Islam wrote to US leaders demanding that he be protected from assassination and holding the United States and NATO responsible for the Libyan leader's "brutal assassination" and repeated attacks on Libya's civilian population.[74]

On 19 November 2011, as Saif al-Islam was trying to flee from Libya, he and four aides were captured,[75] and detained about 50 kilometres (31 mi) west of the town of Ubari near Sabha in southern Libya, 640 kilometres (400 mi) from Tripoli.[76] Sources say that it was the betrayal by a Libyan nomad, Yussef Saleh al-Hotmani, that finally led to his capture. Yussef Saleh al-Hotmani told the interviewers that he was hired to guide a man to Niger and that he was offered €1 million for the job. Being offered such a huge sum of money, he suspected foul play as Saif's agent did not tell him whom he was going to guide. He contacted the rebel fighters and told them where a two vehicle convoy would pass through southern Libya on the night of 18 November and this allowed the rebel fighters to ambush the convoy. Saif was taken to Zintan by plane and, pending trial, he was kept in detention by the Zintan-militia that captured him.[77]

Criminal charges and trials[edit]

Based on his outstanding warrant the International Criminal Court (ICC) asked the new government about Saif al-Islam Gaddafi's detention.[76] The new government was unable or unwilling to comply with the ICC's information requests regarding Saif al-Islam.[78] 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".[79] 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.[79]

In June 2012, Australia lawyer Melinda Taylor and three other members from an ICC delegation were arrested by Zintan while visiting Saif and accused of passing coded messages to Saif.[80][81] They were freed a month later in a deal brokered by ICC President Sang-Hyun Song.[82] In August 2012, the Libyan government announced that Saif al-Islam would stand trial in the western Libyan town of Zintan, in September 2012.[83][84] However, the trial was subsequently delayed; Saif al-Islam appeared in court in Zintan on 17 January 2013.[85] 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.[86]

Libya appealed his extradition to the Hague Court (ICC), but the court affirmed the indictments.[87] 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.[87]

On 28 July 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.[88][89] The trial and the sentence have been criticised by the United Nations human rights office (OHCHR) and by Human Rights Watch.[90][91][92]

In July 2016, one of his lawyers, Karim Khan, claimed that his client had been freed on 12 April of that year and transferred to a secret location after the government quashed his sentence, and that he would petition the ICC to drop all charges against him.[93] A Zintan military source denied that he had been released.[94]

In May 2017, Saif al-Islam survived an assassination attempt in Zintan by local militias.[95]

Release and ICC arrest warrant[edit]

On 10 June 2017, Saif al-Islam was released from prison in Zintan, according to a statement from Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Battalion.[8] The militia chose not to transfer him to the custody of the International Criminal Court, saying "We are not concerned with the international tribunal as the ICC did not ask us to hand him over".[95] The UN-backed Libyan government based in Tripoli condemned his release while an ICC prosecutor was still trying to verify the release, and called on Libya and other states to arrest and surrender him, stating "Libya is obliged to immediately arrest and surrender Mr Gaddafi [...] regardless of any purported amnesty law."[96][97]

In May 2018, the ICC reminded Libyan authorities of the arrest warrant issued against Saif al-Islam,[6] calling for him to be arrested and transferred to the custody of the ICC. The ICC also called for "credible information" that could lead to finding his location.[10] In March 2020, the ICC confirmed that Saif al-Islam's case was admissible in the ICC, despite the 28 July 2015 Libyan judgment against him, since the 2015 judgment was carried out in absentia, thus not qualifying as final under Libyan law.[98]

In May 2019, two Russians affiliated with Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Wagner Group, Maxim Shugaley and Samer Hasan Ali Sueyfan, were arrested in Tripoli for conspiring with Saif al-Islam.[99] They were released in December 2020.[100][101] In September 2020, Corriere della Sera reported that a Russian airplane took Saif al-Islam from Zintan to Moscow to hold secret meetings.[102] On 12 August 2021, prosecutors in Tripoli issued an arrest warrant for Saif over suspected links to the Wagner Group.[103]

2022 presidential run[edit]

Gaddafi stated on 22 March 2018 in Tunis that he would run for president in the next Libyan general election under the Popular Front for the Liberation of Libya (PFLL). Ayman Abu Ras, a spokesperson for the party, said that Gaddafi wished to focus on a programme of "reform", namely reconstruction projects.[104][105]

On 11 June 2021, The Times spoke exclusively with political representatives of Saif, who revealed that he was planning to make a return to public life, including possibly running for president, and had been courting foreign diplomats to re-establish his viability. A direct phone call between The Times reporters and Saif was subsequently arranged, where he confirmed his identity and his relationship with the group of aides The Times had been speaking with. He also stated that he was in good health.[106][107]

In a July 2021 interview with The New York Times, his first interview with western media in ten years, Gaddafi attacked Libyan politicians for their governance since the 2011 First Libyan Civil War, describing them as having "raped the country". Gaddafi hinted that he was running for president. Commenting on his years-long absence from public life, he said "You need to come back slowly, slowly. Like a striptease. You need to play with their minds a little."[108] The July 2021 New York Times interview included topics related to Saif's political thinking and past actions. Saif defended his father's legacy. Saif said of his father's Green Book; "It was not crazy, it talked about things everybody is now recognizing." He said that many "ideas gaining popularity in the West, such as frequent public referendums, employee stock-ownership programs and the dangers of boxing and wrestling", echoed the words of his father's book.[108] His interview was given to the New York Times at an opulent two-storey villa inside a gated compound in Zintan. Until the interview, Saif al-Islam had not been seen or heard from since June 2014, when he appeared via video link from Zintan during his trial by the Tripoli court.[109]

On 14 November 2021, making his first public appearance since June 2014, Gaddafi confirmed his intention to run for the presidency of Libya, registering his nomination in the southern city of Sebha.[110] On 16 November, Libya's High National Election Commission rejected Gaddafi's candidacy on grounds that under Libyan law, his criminal convictions disqualified him from holding a political office.[12][111][112] On 28 November, Gaddafi stated to Al Arabiya that Libyan judicial authorities refused to hold hearings on his disqualification appeal.[112]

On 2 December 2021, a Libyan court ruled that Saif be re-instated as a presidential candidate.[113] Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported that Saif had secretly visited Egypt and met with President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Egyptian Chief of Intelligence Abbas Kamel before his reinstatement.[114]

On 29 January 2022, through a statement published by his lawyer Khalid al-Zaidi, Gaddafi proposed an initiative to resolve the political crisis that began after presidential elections scheduled for December 2021 were delayed. The initiative proposed postponing presidential elections and proceeding with parliamentary elections without delay.[115]

On 6 July 2022, Saif presented two separate proposals to resolve the ongoing Libyan crisis through a written statement disseminated by his lawyer Khalid al-Zaidi. In the first proposal, Saif argued for the appointment of a neutral party to oversee urgent, non-exclusive presidential and parliamentary elections in which everyone would be allowed to participate. In the second proposal, Saif recommended that current political figures should all collectively withdraw from the electoral process in order to make way for new faces chosen by the Libyan people through transparent elections.[116][117]

Personal life[edit]

In 2006, the German newspaper Der Spiegel and the Spanish newspaper La Voz de Galicia reported that Saif al-Islam was romantically linked to Orly Weinerman, an Israeli actress and model, they dated from 2005 to 2011.[118][119] At the time, Weinerman publicly denied having any contact with Saif al-Islam, but she has since admitted it, and in September 2012, she asked former British prime minister Tony Blair to intervene in his trial in order to spare his life.[120][121]

In 2009, a party in Montenegro for his 37th birthday included well-known guests such as Oleg Deripaska, Peter Munk and Prince Albert of Monaco.[122]

In April 2016, the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that Saif al-Islam had married in Zintan and had a three year old daughter.[123] In his 2021 interview with The New York Times, Saif denied being married and claimed that he was lonely.[124]

British society[edit]

In the 2000s, Saif al-Islam was hosted at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle by the British royal family.[125] In 2009, he spent a weekend at Waddesdon Manor, home of financier Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild, where he was the guest of Lord Mandelson and Nathaniel Philip Rothschild. He later stayed at the Rothschild holiday home in Corfu. Nathaniel Rothschild was a guest at Saif's 37th birthday celebration in Montenegro.[125][126]

Links with the London School of Economics[edit]

Saif al-Islam received his PhD from the London School of Economics (LSE) in 2008.[127] Through the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation (GICDF), Saif pledged a donation of £1.5 million to support the work of the LSE's Centre for the Study of Global Governance on civil society organisations in North Africa. Following the LSE–Gaddafi affair, the LSE issued a statement indicating that it would cut all financial ties with the country and would accept no further money from the GICDF, having already received and spent the first £300,000 instalment of the donation.[128]

Critics have charged that Gaddafi plagiarized portions of his doctoral dissertation and pressure was put on the LSE to revoke his degree.[129] The LSE set up a review process to evaluate the plagiarism charges[130] in early 2011.[131][132] In November 2011, the review panel stated that the PhD thesis had been "annotated to show where attribution or references should have been made" and recommended that the PhD itself "should not be revoked".[133]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Thomas, Landon (28 February 2010). "Unknotting Father's Reins in Hope of 'Reinventing' Libya". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "Inside Gaddafi's inner circle". Al Jazeera. 27 February 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
  3. ^ a b McLean, Alan; Shane, Scott; Tse, Archie (28 November 2010). "A Selection From the Cache of Diplomatic Dispatches". The New York Times.
  4. ^ "The Politics of Blackmail". Newsweek. 13 September 2008. Archived from the original on 19 May 2009. Retrieved 9 August 2008.
  5. ^ Black, Ian; Smith, David (27 June 2011). "War crimes court issues Gaddafi arrest warrant". The Guardian.
  6. ^ a b c "Situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya — Public — Warrant of Arrest for Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi" (PDF). International Criminal Court. 27 June 2011. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 July 2019. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Libya trial: Gaddafi son sentenced to death over war crimes". BBC. 28 July 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Saif al-Islam Gaddafi freed from prison in Zintan". Al Jazeera. 11 June 2017.
  9. ^ Xypolia, Ilia (3 July 2017). "News of Saif al-Islam's release: regional politics fuels rumour mill in Libya". News24. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  10. ^ a b The Office of the Prosecutor (9 May 2018). "Fifteenth report of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to the United Nations Security Council pursuant to UNSCR 1970 (2011)" (PDF). International Criminal Court. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 April 2019. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Saif al-Islam Gaddafi: Son of Libya ex-ruler runs for president". BBC News. 14 November 2021. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
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External links[edit]

Media related to Saif al-Islam Muammar Al-Gaddafi at Wikimedia Commons