CAIRO, January 5 (RIA Novosti) – Saif al-Islam, the second son of Libya’s late leader Muammar Gaddafi, will go on trial within the next month, Justice Minister Salah Maraghni said on Libyan national television.
“Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, former Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi and Gaddafi's former spy chief, Abdullah al-Senussi will be put on trial as soon as questioning is completed within the next month, as expected,” Maraghni said in a statement.
The trial was originally set for September last year, but has been postponed in the light of Abdullah al-Senussi’s extradition to Libya from Mauritania as prosecutors hoped he could provide more evidence against Saif al-Islam.
Saif, 40, was considered the most likely successor to Col. Gaddafi and actively supported his father’s attempts to quash the Libyan rebellion in 2011.
Gaddafi’s regime was overthrown in October 2011 by opposition forces with NATO’s assistance after a seven-month civil war. Gaddafi, who ruled the country for almost 42 years, was captured and killed by rebels near his home town of Sirte on October 20.
Saif was captured in November 2011 by a militia group from the western mountain town of Zintan, where he has been held ever since.
He is also wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), but Libyan officials have refused to hand him over to The Hague.
Saif and his lawyers have asked for a trial in The Hague as they are afraid that he could face death sentence if tried in Libya.
The Libyan authorities have promised Saif and former Gaddafi government officials a fair trial.