Gaddafi’s Son Freed
by Stephen Lendman
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was part of his father’s inner circle – serving in a diplomatic and public relations capacity.
He held no official government position. Mentioned as a possible successor to his father, he rejected the notion.
US-led NATO raped and destroyed Libya, transforming Africa’s most developed nation into a lawless cauldron of endless violence, deprivation and despair.
Muammar Gaddafi was sodomized to death. Saif was illegally arrested, detained, tortured, tried, imprisoned and sentenced to death.
His lawyer John Jones said judicial proceedings against him amounted to “a trial by militia,” lasting two days, conducted by an illegitimate regime.
“Lawyers were intimidated,” Jones explained. “The judges were intimated. Lawyers had to leave the case.”
Controlled proceedings excluded the right to a proper defense. Only two intimidated witnesses for Saif were allowed. No evidence against him was presented.
Prosecutors relied solely on torture-extracted information – what no legitimate tribunal permits.
Transitional Justice and Rule of Law Division of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) human rights director Claudio Cordone said at the time:
“Concerns over the trial include the fact that several defendants were absent for a number of sessions. The evidence of criminal conduct was largely attributed to the defendants in general, with little effort to establish individual criminal responsibility.”
“(I)t is particularly worrisome that the court handed down nine death sentences. International standards require that death sentences may only be imposed after proceedings that meet the highest level of respect for fair trial standards.”
“The United Nations opposes the imposition of the death penalty as a matter of principle.”
Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ravina Shamdasani added:
“We had closely monitored the detention and trial and found that international fair trial standards had failed to be met.”
“Among the key shortcomings is the failure to establish individual criminal responsibility in relation to specific crimes.”
Other serious issues included lack of access to lawyers, torture and other forms of ill treatment, along with illegitimate trials conducted in absentia.
An UNSMIL press release at the time said “(d)uring their pre-trial detention defendants were denied access to lawyers and family for prolonged periods, and some reported that they were beaten or otherwise ill-treated, but UNSMIL is not aware of any investigation into these allegations.”
“Many defendants were not represented by a lawyer during the pre-trial process, which deprived them of a crucial opportunity to establish their defense.”
“Defense lawyers said they faced challenges in meeting their clients privately or accessing the full case file, and some said they received threats.”
“They were constrained by the court to two or three witnesses per defendant and some said that witnesses were reluctant to appear in court due to fears about their safety. The court did not respond to defense counsel requests to examine prosecution witnesses.”
Saif was sentenced to death by an illegitimate Tripoli tribunal, the ruling not carried out. He’s now free after over five years of brutalizing detention and imprisonment.
Ordered by the Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Battalion, its statement said “(t)he citizen Saif al-Islam Muammar al-Qadafi was released in accordance with the law of the General Afwa issued by parliament, the only legitimate authority in the country.”
It referred to the Tobruk-based so-called Government of National Accord, ordering amnesty for political prisoners.
A contesting National Salvation Government operates in Tripoli. Dozens of rival factions vie for control, including ISIS, al-Qaeda and other US-backed terrorist groups.
An ICC warrant for Saif’s arrest remains outstanding. His whereabouts isn’t known.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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