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Jan 05, 2013 at 06:03pm IST

Gaddafi son's Saif's trial will be in February, says Libya

Cairo: Libya has said that Saif al-Islam, the son of late leader Muammar Gaddafi whose regime was overthrown in 2011 by opposition forces with NATO's assistance, will go on trial in February.

"Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, former Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi and Gaddafi's former spy chief, Abdullah al-Senussi will be put on trial as soon as questioning is completed within the next month, as expected," Justice Minister Salah Maraghni said on national television in a statement.

The trial was originally set for September, 2012, but was postponed in the light of Abdullah al-Senussi's extradition to Libya from Mauritania as prosecutors hoped he could provide more evidence against Saif al-Islam, news agency RIA Novosti reported.

Gaddafi son's trial will be in February, says Libya

Gaddafi, who ruled the country for almost 42 years, was captured and killed by rebels near Sirte on October 20.

Saif, 40, was considered the most likely successor to Colonel Gaddafi and actively supported his father's attempts to quash the country's rebellion in 2011, the report said.

Gaddafi's regime was overthrown in October, 2011, by opposition forces with NATO's assistance after a seven-month civil war. Gaddafi, who ruled the country for almost 42 years, was captured and killed by rebels near Sirte, his home town, on October 20.

Gaddafi's second son, Saif, was captured in November, 2011, by a militia group from the western mountain town of Zintan, where he has been held ever since. Saif is also wanted by the International Criminal Court, but Libyan officials have refused to hand him over to The Hague. The ICC issued an arrest warrant for him on charges of complicity in crimes against humanity.

Saif and his lawyers have asked for a trial in The Hague as they are afraid that he could face death sentence if tried in Libya, the report said. The Libyan authorities, however, have promised Saif and former Gaddafi government officials a fair trial.

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