The Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Battalion said Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, 44, had been released on June 9 but he has not been shown in public.
Local reports suggest Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is now in the eastern city of Bayda with relatives.
His lawyer, Khaled al-Zaidi, also said he had been released but would not say which city Saif al-Islam had traveled to for security reasons.
The Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Battalion said it was acting on a request from the “interim government”.
Image source Wikipedia
That government – based in the east of Libya – had already offered amnesty to Saif al-Islam.
However, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi has been sentenced to death in absentia by a court in Tripoli, the west of Libya, where control is in the hands of the rival, UN-backed Government of National Accord.
Previous reports of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s release proved to be false.
Muammar Gaddafi’s son is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity during his father’s unsuccessful attempts to put down the rebellion.
Saif al-Islam – who was controversially granted a PhD by the London School of Economics in 2008 – was captured in November 2011 after three months on the run following the end of Muammar Gaddafi’s decades-long rule.
He was previously known for playing a key role in building relations with the West after 2000, and had been considered the reformist face of his father’s regime.
However, after the 2011 uprising, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi found himself accused of incitement to violence and murdering protesters.
Four years later, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was sentenced to death by firing squad following a trial involving 30 of Muammar Gaddafi’s close associates.
Saif al-Islam, the fugitive son of colonel Muammar Gaddafi has been captured, Libya’s interim justice minister says.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, 39, is said to have been seized by fighters near the southern town of Obari and flown to Zintan in the north.
Muammar Gaddafi’s son is the last key member of the Gaddafi family to be captured or killed.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged crimes against humanity during the uprising against his father.
A picture apparently showing Saif al-Islam Gaddafi after his capture has appeared on the page of a Facebook group based in the Libyan town of Sabha.
A picture apparently showing Saif al-Islam Gaddafi after his capture has appeared on the page of a Facebook group based in the Libyan town of Sabha
A militia force allied to the National Transitional Council (NTC) said Saif al-Islam Gaddafi had been captured in Obari, near Sabha, in the south-west, and was taken to their base in Zintan in the north.
A commander of the Zintan militia, Wisam Dughaly, said Saif al-Islam Gaddafi had been captured along with several aides, as they tried to smuggle him out to neighbouring Niger.
Wisam Dughaly said Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was not hurt, though the picture on Facebook showed his right thumb and two fingers bandaged.
The NTC’s Justice Minister Mohammed al-Allagui confirmed the capture and said Saif al-Islam Gaddafi would be transferred to the capital, Tripoli, soon.
The ICC in The Hague says it has been officially notified of the arrest.
An ICC spokesman, Fadi el-Abdallah, told the BBC that Libya had a legal obligation to hand over Saif al-Islam Gaddafi – who is wanted on charges of crimes against humanity – to the court.
However, ICC spokesman added that the final decision on where any trial would take place was up to the ICC judges after consultations with the Libyan authorities.
“The good news is that Saif al-Islam is arrested, he is alive, and now he will face justice,” ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo said.
The reported capture leaves Muammar Gaddafi’s former intelligence chief, Abdallah Senoussi, as the only Libyan ICC suspect still at large.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi had been on the run since NTC forces took the capital, Tripoli, in August.
Muammar Gaddafi himself was killed on 20 October after being captured during the final battle for his hometown, Sirte.