Qaddafi's son released by Libyan militia

Saif al-Islam Qaddafi reportedly freed after six years in captivity.

Ben Ariel,

Saif al-Islam Qaddafi
Saif al-Islam Qaddafi

Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, second son of former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, has been freed under an amnesty, the BBC reported Saturday.

He had been held by a militia in the town of Zintan for the past six years.

The Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Battalion said he had been released on Friday but he has not been shown in public. Local reports suggest he is now in the eastern city of Bayda with relatives, noted the BBC.

The militia group said it was acting on a request from the "interim government".

That government - based in the east of the country - had already offered amnesty to Saif al-Islam.

However, he has been sentenced to death in absentia by a court in Tripoli, the west of the country, where control is in the hands of the rival, UN-backed Government of National Accord.

Previous reports of Saif al-Islam Qaddafi's release proved to be false.

The 44-year-old was captured in November 2011 after three months on the run following the end of his father's decades-long rule.

He was previously known for playing a key role in building relations with the West after 2000, and had been considered the reformist face of his father's regime.

After the 2011 uprising, he found himself accused of incitement to violence and murdering protesters. Four years later, he was sentenced to death by firing squad following a trial involving 30 of Qaddafi's close associates.

Libya has been in chaos since the NATO-backed ouster of Qaddafi.

The Islamic State (ISIS) has capitalized on the disarray and spread the group's influence into the north African nation, establishing a stronghold in Sirte, Qaddafi’s hometown.