Saadi Gaddafi, son of the former Libyan dictator, is facing the death penalty after being handed over to Libyan officials by neighbouring Niger. He was pictured earlier today having his hair cut and beard shaved off after spending a year and a half on the run.
The London Evening Standard report that Saadi is accused of shooting protesters during the revolution that brought down his father in 2011. He fled across the Sahara soon after and reportedly resided in the Niger capital Niamey in a state guesthouse.
Previously, Niger had refused to hand him over to Libyan authorities, saying that he was “certain to face the death penalty.”
The Libyan government today issued a statement saying: “We received today Saadi Gaddafi and he arrived in Tripoli.” It said that he would be treated “in accordance with international law”.
Before his father’s overthrow, Saadi was best known for his attempts to enter professional football. He was president of the Libyan Football Federation and captained the Libyan national team. He also tried unsuccessfully to play for various Italian teams, failing a drugs test for one and barely ever playing for the others.
Members of Saadi’s large family have suffered different fates since the revolution. Saadi’s father was captured and killed shortly after being overthrown. Two of his brothers, Saif al-Arab and Khamis, died early in the revolution, while another, Mutassim was killed after being captured.
A different brother, Saif al-Islam is currently prisoner of militia group, while the remainder, including Saadi’s mother, have been granted asylum in Oman.
Saadi could now become the first member of his family to be formally convicted and executed.