Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Libyan authorities have announced they will begin an initial investigation into Saadi Gaddafi, son of the deceased former leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi, after his surprise extradition from Niger early yesterday morning.
Libyan sources revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that intense negotiations had taken place between Libya and Niger to convince them to hand Saadi Gaddafi over to Libya. They indicated that the Libyan government had promised to increase its direct investment in Niger as an expression of gratitude to the authorities there for their cooperation.
Sources said that the Libyan government had previously handed Niger a dossier proving the involvement of Saadi Gadhafi in hostile activities—particularly in the south—in an attempt to unsettle security and stability.
A Libyan official, who asked to remain anonymous, told Asharq Al-Awsat: “We gave the authorities in Niger all the information we had on Saadi Gadhafi’s support for creating a state of anarchy both militarily and in terms of security, and we entered tough financial and economic negotiations. In the end they were convinced. We struck a really good deal.”
Unofficial information suggests that Libya paid 1 billion US dollars for Gaddafi’s extradition. He faces a number of criminal charges, including murder in connection with the death of a soccer player and the suppression the revolution against his father’s regime in 2011.
Abdel Kader Radwan, the Libyan Attorney General, confirmed that he had sent Saadi Gadhafi to a prison in Tripoli where he is being guarded by Ministry of Justice police. Radwan said at a news conference on Thursday that these are “happy times for Libyan society and bad ones for its enemies.”
Radwan continued: “With regards to the accusations leveled against Mr. Gaddafi in his capacity as deputy commander of the security forces, they are for acts which aimed to kill indiscriminately and to support and finance armed groups to eliminate the 2011 revolution.”
In relation to his position as president of the Libyan National Soccer Federation, Gaddahi is alleged to have used armed force to seize land belonging to both the Libyan state and private citizens for the use of the Federation and the use their value for his own benefit.
According to Hashim Bashar, president of the Supreme Security Committee in Tripoli: “Saadi arrived, under arrest, at the Am’atiqa base at around 2:50 am. From there he was moved to Al-Hadaba prison, where he was officially handed over to the Attorney General’s office.”
Khalid Al-Sharif, Undersecretary to the Ministry of Defense, said that Gaddafi was immediately handcuffed and blindfolded, and then transported to prison in a military convoy.
Guards and security officials who were present at Saadi Gaddafi’s arrival in Libya told Asharq Al-Awsat that he seemed frustrated and depressed, but that he did not respond to the insults thrown at him. He also complied with the prison administration’s request that he shave his beard and hair, and that he wear a blue prison uniform.
When the news of Gaddafi’s repatriation reached Tripoli, people began to sound car horns in celebration and prison officials praised God. In a statement on their website, the government thanked Niger’s President Mohamed Issoufou, along with his government and the people of Niger for their support in the matter, and for their support in extraditing Gaddafi according to the principles of justice and the rule of law.