In the brief one-minute interview conducted by Al-Assema TV, Saif Al-Islam confirmed that he is in good health and has been visited by family members and human rights organizations.
The son of former Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi appeared wearing a blue prison jumpsuit and the interview appeared to have been conducted in his prison cell, with both Saif Al-Islam and the interviewer sitting awkwardly on the same bed.
Asked why he is insisting on being tried in Zintan, rather than the capital, Tripoli, along with other senior Gaddafi-era officials, Saif Al-Islam exclaimed sharply: “Zintan is in Libya. So what’s the problem? What’s the difference between it and Tripoli?”
“Is Zintan in Libya or outside Libya?” he asked the interviewer.
“It’s in Libya,” the interviewer replied.
“There you go,” Gaddafi responded, shrugging his shoulders and leaning back to indicate the end of the interview.
The three questions had been agreed beforehand by Al-Assema TV and Saif Al-Islam’s legal team. The interview was granted following widespread rumors in Libya that the former leader’s son had escaped from prison and fled the country.
The Zintan militia that has custody of Saif Al-Islam has refused to hand him over to officials in Tripoli after the Libyan government ordered that he be transferred to the capital to stand trial with other members of the former regime.
A source close to Said Al-Islam previously informed Asharq Al-Awsat that the former leader’s son has expressed fears for his life if he is transferred to the capital. The former Libyan leader’s son appeared at the Zintan Court of First Instance in mid-September on charges of communicating with foreign sides to damage Libya’s national security. His trial has been adjourned until December 12.