TRIPOLI, Nov 19 – Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s fugitive son Seif al-Islam has been arrested in the south of the country, a senior National Transitional Council official told AFP on Saturday.
Seif al-Islam, Gaddafi’s one-time successor who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) was “arrested in southern Libya,” said NTC justice minister Mohammed al-Allagui, declining to give any details.
The ICC issued warrants on June 27 against Seif al-Islam as well as his father and Abdullah al-Senussi, the late dictator’s intelligence chief, on charges of crimes against humanity in crushing anti-regime protests.
A source in Tripoli’s “thwar” (revolutionary) council, made up of former rebels who toppled Gaddafi’s regime, said the arrest of Seif took place in the Ubari region of the south.
The ICC’s prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo predicted on November 9 that Seif’s arrest was just a matter of time.
“The question is not if he will be arrested, it’s when,” he told a news conference at the court’s headquarters in The Hague. “It’s a matter of time; Seif will face justice, that’s his destiny.”
A week earlier, the prosecutor told the UN Security Council that the ICC had “received questions from individuals linked to Seif al-Islam about the legal conditions attaching to his potential surrender.”
Seif’s representatives had asked what would happen to him if he appeared before judges and the various conviction and acquittal possibilities, the prosecutor told the Security Council which referred the Libya case to the ICC.
ICC investigators have visited Libya to collect more evidence in the case against Seif and also into allegations of mass rapes by Gaddafi forces during the crackdown against protesters before the revolt turned into full-blown civil war.
Gaddafi himself was killed on October 20 when forces of Libya’s new regime stormed his home town of Sirte.
Five days later, a Tuareg official in Niger said that both Seif and Senussi were poised to enter the country from southern Libya, while on October 27 security sources said the former intelligence chief had reached Mali.