According to American State Department officials in Tripoli, during his father's reign, he was the second most widely recognized person in Libya, being at times the "de facto" Prime Minister,  and was mentioned as a possible successor, though he rejected this. Gaddafi was captured in southern Libya by the Zintan militia on 19 November , after the end of the Libyan Civil War , and flown by plane to Zintan. He was sentenced to death on 28 July by a court in Tripoli for crimes during the civil war, in a widely criticised trial conducted in absentia.
He remained in the custody of the de facto independent authorities of Zintan. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi graduated with a bachelor of science degree in engineering science from Tripoli 's Al Fateh University in However, there is another report stating that he is an architect. His paintings made up the bulk of the international Libyan art exhibit, "The Desert is Not Silent" — ,  a show which was supported by a host of international corporations with direct ties to his father's government, among them the ABB Group and Siemens.
Gaddafi was awarded a PhD degree in from the London School of Economics , where he attended amid a series of contacts between the school and the Libyan political establishment. He presented a thesis on "The role of civil society in the democratisation of global governance institutions: from 'soft power' to collective decision-making? Professor Joseph Nye of Harvard University is also thanked for having read portions of the manuscript and providing advice and direction. Speaking in Sabha on 20 August , Gaddafi said that he would no longer involve himself in state affairs.
He noted that he had previously "intervene[d] due to the absence of institutions",  but said that he would no longer do so. He dismissed any potential suggestion that this decision was due to disagreement with his father, saying that they were on good terms.
He also called for political reforms within the context of the Jamahiriya system and rejected the notion that he could succeed his father, saying that "this is not a farm to inherit". In ,  he founded the official charity, the Gaddafi International Foundation for Charity Associations , which intervened in various hostage situations involving Islamic militants and the crisis of the HIV trial in Libya and the resulting European Union -Libyan rapprochement. In , both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch were allowed entry to Libya, via Gaddafi's non-profit organization in order to gather facts about the human rights situation in Libya.
In December , Gaddafi announced that his charity foundation "will no longer be involved in promoting human rights and political change in the North African country," and that instead, it "will focus on its 'core charitable mission' of delivering aid and relief to sub-Saharan Africa. Gaddafi was instrumental in negotiations that led to Libya's abandoning a weapons of mass destruction programme in — He arranged several important business deals on behalf of the Libyan regime in the period of rapprochement that followed.
He was viewed as a reformer, and openly criticised the regime: . His request was met with incredulity in Canada, and the Canadian government announced that no apology would be forthcoming. Gaddafi played an important role in the HIV trial in Libya. At first he rejected information the medics were tortured. Later he admitted in interviews that the Bulgarian nurses, charged with conspiring to deliberately infect over children with HIV in , had been tortured and that the government had denied them a fair trial. His admissions were said to have badly damaged his reputation in Libya.
The torture process is confirmed and described in details in the book Notes from Hell ,  co-written by one of the nurses, Valya Chervianashka. Saif al-Islam was mentioned several times in the book. According to her:. One day, the executive director of Muammar al-Gaddafi's son's foundation, the Gaddafi International Foundation for Charity Associations GICDF , arrived at the prison, inviting us to the director's office of the women's wing for a meeting. We were in our pyjamas, dishevelled and unprepared. We hastily put on some clothes and hurried to meet the director.
The Ambassador told us, "This is a very important person. He will help you; he is on your side. We didn't realise it then, but this Libyan man would indeed help us in the future. Saif introduced the Isratine proposal to permanently resolve the Israeli—Palestinian conflict through a secular , federalist , republican one-state solution.
In this role, he was involved in a number of humanitarian initiatives. Gaddafi was involved in negotiating compensation from Libya's former colonial power, Italy , and on 30 August a Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation Agreement was signed in Benghazi by his father and Italy's prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
He was also negotiating with the United States in order to conclude a comprehensive agreement making any further payments for American victims of terror attacks that have been blamed on Libya — such as the Berlin discotheque bombing , the Lockerbie bombing and the UTA Flight bombing — conditional upon U.
On 14 August , the U. Former British Ambassador to Libya Oliver Miles described the agreement as "a bold step, with political cost for both parties" and wrote an article in the online edition of The Guardian querying whether the agreement is likely to work. He further admitted that Libya was being "hypocritical" and was "playing on words", but said Libya had no other choice on the matter. According to Gaddafi, a letter admitting "responsibility" was the only way to end the economic sanctions imposed on Libya. He went on to describe the families of the Lockerbie victims as "trading with the blood of their sons and daughters" and being very "greedy", saying, "They were asking for more money and more money and more money".
In , Saif al-Islam Gaddafi met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Tripoli, with whom it is alleged he helped broker an arms deal, including missiles. During the meeting, Rice raised the case of Libya's jailed political dissident and democracy activist, Fathi El-Jahmi. In , Saif al-Islam welcomed Sarah Leah Whitson , director of Human Rights Watch 's Middle East division, into Libya, accompanying her in meeting with many government officials and others during her visit. She wrote of her official visit that "the real impetus for the transformation rests squarely with a quasi-governmental organization, the Qaddafi Foundation for International Charities and Development" chaired by Gaddafi.
She praised Gaddafi for establishing the country's two semi-private newspapers, and said "it is impossible to underestimate the importance of the efforts made so far.
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Let's hope this spring will last. In , Saif al-Islam Gaddafi claimed that Libya's opinion of him was shaped largely by his role in Libya's engagement with the West, saying "If something goes wrong, people will blame me, whether I am in a certain official position or not. He stated, "We share rich natural resources — oil and gas — along the borders, yet we have no capacity to defend that wealth. Gaddafi said the United States had "humiliated" his father during his visit to New York in , and said that his father's tent and residence issues were disappointing and his UN speech had been misinterpreted.
Gaddafi said that his father was barred from visiting Ground Zero , which also frustrated him. Gaddafi held a standoff with US officials in November , refusing to send a shipment of Highly Enriched Uranium back to Russia unless the United States renewed its commitment to cooperation with Libya. On 19 February, several days after the conflict began, Saif al-Islam announced the creation of a commission of inquiry into the violence, chaired by a Libyan judge, as reported on state television.
He stated that the commission was intended to be "for members of Libyan and foreign organizations of human rights" and that it would "investigate the circumstances and events that have caused many victims. On 20 February , Saif al-Islam Gaddafi delivered an address to the nation on Libyan state television stating that if no agreement could be found between protesters and the government "thousands of deaths, and rivers of blood will run through Libya". He also insisted that his father remained in charge with the army's backing and would "fight until the last man, the last woman, the last bullet.
In June , Saif al-Islam and his father, Muammar, announced that they were willing to hold elections and that Muammar Gaddafi would step aside if he lost. Saif al-Islam stated that the elections could be held within three months and transparency would be guaranteed through international observers. On 27 June, an arrest warrant was issued by the ICC. He pointed out that he was not a member of the government or the military, and therefore had no authority to give such orders.
According to Saif al-Islam, he made recorded calls to General Abdul Fatah Younis , who later defected to the rebel forces, requesting him not to use force against protesters, to which Younis responded that the protestors were attacking a military site, where surprised guards fired in self-defence.
Gaddafi's son Saif 'to run for Libyan president' in 2018 elections
Saif al-Islam condemned NATO for bombing Libyan civilians, including his family members and their children, under the false pretence that their homes were military bases. Saif al-Islam said that his father was working closely with Islamists within the rebellion to splinter the resistance.
He appeared on Syrian pro-Gaddafi television on 22 October claiming "I am in Libya, I am alive and free and willing to fight to the end and take revenge",  but his whereabouts were unknown and subject to many rumours. An international team of lawyers representing the interests of Saif al-Islam wrote to US leaders demanding that he be protected from assassination and holding the United States and NATO responsible for the Libyan leader's "brutal assassination" and repeated attacks on Libya's civilian population.
Being offered such a huge sum of money, he suspected foul play as Saif's agent did not tell him whom he was going to guide. He contacted the rebel fighters and told them where a two vehicle convoy would pass through southern Libya on the night of 18 November and this allowed the rebel fighters to ambush the convoy.
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Saif was taken to Zintan by plane and, pending trial, he was kept in detention by the Zintan-militia that captured him. A brief filed by the Office of Public Counsel for the Defence on behalf of Gaddafi claimed that "there is no basis for asserting that the ICC should defer the case to Libya".
In August , the Libyan government announced that Saif al-Islam would stand trial in the western Libyan town of Zintan , in September On 17 January , Saif al-Islam appeared in court in Zintan. On July 28, , Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was sentenced to death in absentia for war crimes by the "self-declared government" in Tripoli, Libya he was being held in Zintan, not where the trial was held.
However, the Zintan authorities have consistently refused to either hand him over to the Tripoli authorities or to implement their sentence.