Creating new perspectives since 2009

Libya calls on Lebanon to release Gaddafi's son as health deteriorates

August 15, 2023 at 2:29 pm

People gather to protest against the candidacy application of Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi in Tripoli, Libya on November 19, 2021 [Hazem Turkia/Anadolu Agency]

The Libyan judicial authorities have officially asked Lebanon to release the son of the late Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi who was overthrown in 2011.

Gaddafi’s son, Hannibal, has been detained in Lebanon without charges since 2015. Citing his deteriorating health, Libyan authorities have asked Beirut to release him.

Hannibal Gaddafi’s health has deteriorated since he went on a hunger strike on 3 June to protest his detention without trial and he has been hospitalised at least twice since then.

According to Lebanese judicial officials, the Libyan Public Prosecutor, Al-Siddiq Al-Sour, sent a request earlier this month to his Lebanese counterpart, Ghassan Oweidat, regarding Gaddafi.

READ: 27 migrants found dead at Tunisia-Libya border

In their request, Libyan officials stated that Lebanon’s cooperation in this regard would help reveal the true fate of the Lebanese Shia cleric Musa Al-Sadr, who disappeared in Libya in 1978.

The note asked why Gaddafi was being detained. It demanded that either he be handed over to Libya or be allowed to return to Syria, where he had been living in exile with his Lebanese wife, Aline Skaf, and children until he was kidnapped and brought to Lebanon eight years ago.

The Lebanese public prosecutor then referred the case to Zaher Hamadeh, the investigating judge in Al-Sadr’s case, who is examining the Libyan request.

Hannibal Gaddafi has been detained in Lebanon since 2015 after he was kidnapped by Lebanese gunmen who sought to obtain information about the whereabouts of Al-Sadr. Lebanese police said they had arrested Gaddafi from the city of Baalbek in northeastern Lebanon where he had been detained. He has been in a Beirut prison since.

READ: Lebanon freezes bank accounts of former Central Bank Governor and associates