Libya’s Attorney General’s office has ordered the “temporary release from jail over medical issues” of some of former president Muammar Gaddafi’s henchmen, according to the Libya Observer.
Head of the Investigation Bureau Al-Siddiq Al-Sour said on Sunday that the decision was made following a check-up on the prisoners’ health.
“The inmates who will be discharged are in bad health conditions and have been for long under medication in jail, so their release will help them get proper medical care,” Al-Sour stated.
The released inmates include former Libyan ambassador to the UN Abu Zaid Dorda, who also headed the country’s notorious external intelligence agency. Dorda had been sentenced to death by firing squad, but appealed against the court ruling.
However, Al-Sour denied that the chief of intelligence of Gaddafi’s regime, Abdullah Senussi, would be among those released.
This is not the first time former Gaddafi officials have had their sentences reconsidered. In June, 2016, the General Attorney Office ordered the release of 13 Gaddafi regime loyalists, including six well-known figures, after the Criminal Court approved the appeal they lodged against their sentences.
Gaddafi loyalists have rallied in recent months as instability in the country from the 2011 revolution continues to generate military and political conflict.
Earlier this year, a spokesman for the Gaddafi family confirmed that the son of the late Libyan dictator, Saif Al-Islam, would stand as a candidate for president in elections scheduled for later this year.
“There is no doubt that Saif Al-Islam will run for Libya’s president. It is an inevitable move,” spokesman Bassem Al-Sol insisted at the time. “Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi enjoys the support of major tribes in Libya.”
The International Criminal Court has been calling for Gaddafi’s arrest since 2011, on charges that he carried out crimes against humanity during the revolution that ousted his father. Until last June, he had been held by a prisoner by militia in the town of Zintan.
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has said that Gaddafi’s whereabouts remain unknown but called for him to be handed over to the international court.