• Niger hands over fugitive Kadhafi son to Libya

    Saadi Kadhafi in a photo released by the Libyan Prison Authority on Thursday. AFP PHOTO

    Saadi Kadhafi in a photo released by the Libyan Prison Authority on Thursday. AFP PHOTO

    TRIPOLI: Niger has turned over to Tripoli a son of Libya’s late dictator Moamer Kadhafi after he fled across the desert during the 2011 uprising that ended his father’s four-decade rule.

    The government said Saadi Kadhafi, who escaped to Niger during the revolt that saw rebels capture and kill his father, was now in Libyan custody.

    The Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade, a militia made up of former rebels, released five photographs on Facebook of a disconsolate-looking Saadi wearing a blue jumpsuit getting his head and beard shaved.

    The 40-year-old was pictured kneeling on the floor as his hair was removed by a man wielding an electic razor.

    Libya’s government said he would be held in accordance with “international standards regarding the treatment of prisoners.”

    Saadi Kadhafi was best known as the head of Libya’s football federation and a player who paid his way into Italy’s top division.

    When he was 20, he trained with Italian clubs Juventus and Lazio.

    He was a shareholder in Juventus, and also tried to buy Lazio in 2002 after the collapse of the Cirio food empire, which owned the club.

    The playboy footballer, born in May 1973, had been off the radar since fleeing in a convoy to Niger across Libya’s southern desert in September 2011.

    After hanging up his football boots, Saadi had forged a military career, heading an elite unit.

    Despite initial setbacks suffered by his father’s forces in the uprising, Saadi vowed that any territory lost would be regained “sooner or later.”


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