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Libyan interim PM confirms capture of Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam, promises fair trial

ZINTAN (Xinhua) - Libyan interim Prime Minister Abdel Rahim el-Keeb Saturday confirmed the capture of Saif al-Islam, the second son of late ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, in the south of the country.

Keeb also promised a fair trial for Saif al-Islam, who has been on the run for months and is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity.

"We assure Libyans and the world that Saif al-Islam will receive a fair trial," he said at a televised news conference held in the western Libyan town of Zintan, where Saif al-Islam is being kept in custody.

Keeb said Saif al-Islam would be treated well in accordance with international law and the Libyan judicial authorities would communicate with the International Criminal Court to determine where he must be tried.

"Any cooperation with international institutions is welcome," Keeb said, adding Saif's capture marked a "historic" day and the start of a new chapter for the North African nation.

"We are going to show Saif al-Islam who we are - we are not some armed band, we are freedom-seekers," he said.

Hinting that Saif would be tried in Libya, Keeb said the Libyan authorities have the right to try Saif for the crimes he committed to the Libyan people and a special judicial institution would deal with the issue by law.

The interim premier did not give any details on Saif's capture.


Saif was seized in Sebha, a desert town in southern Libya, Bobkar Bobmala, a military officer of the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC), or the interim government, announced in Tripoli earlier Saturday.

"This is a historic moment for the new born Libya," said a soldier named Assad Arabi. "He and his father killed so many people, now it's time for them to pay back."

Saif was transferred by plane to Zintan, a city about 100 km southwest of Tripoli.

His seizure came one day before the NTC is expected to announce the list of a new transitional government Sunday. At Tripoli, thousands of residents Saturday took to the streets to celebrate the capture of Saif, waving flags and guns.

Saif has been on the run since forces of the NTC took over Tripoli in late August.

The International Criminal Court in The Hague issued warrants on June 27 against Saif, his father and Abdullah al-Senussi, former intelligence chief in Gaddafi's regime, on charges of crimes against humanity in cracking down on anti-Gaddafi protests.

Muammar Gaddafi and his another son, Mutassim, were captured alive by NTC forces in his hometown Sirte in late October, but both died shortly in murky circumstances. (From