A military source has debunked media reports alleging the release of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, from prison.
According to the source, the son of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, is still imprisoned in western Libya where he has been held since the 2011 uprising that toppled his father.
“We deny that Saif Islam has been released,” the Zintan military source told Reuters.
The news sharply contradicts Saif’s lawyer, Karim Khan, who told France 24 earlier this week that, “Saif al-Islam was released under an amnesty and in accordance with (Libyan) law.”
Since his father’s downfall, Saif has been held in Zintan, a mountainous western region, by one of the factions that began contending for power after Gaddafi was killed. The factions have now split the oil-rich country into warring fiefdoms.
Despite a death sentence pronounced on Saif by a court last year citing his role in the deaths that resulted in the uprising that toppled his father, the Zintan forces have refused to hand him over to be executed.
The Zintani forces said they did not trust Tripoli to guarantee he does not escape. But they agreed to let him be tried there, though he appeared mainly by video link.
Libya’s new U.N.-backed unity government, set up in Tripoli three months ago, is trying to bring together the various factions struggling for control of Libya and its oil resources.
Brigades of former rebels backing rival political factions remain the main power brokers in Libya, where the unity government has struggled to exert its influence. Islamic State has also gained ground in the chaos.