Saadi Gaddafi paraded on Libyan televsion to apologise for his sins
Published 31/03/2014 | 09:26
Son of late leader in broadcast from jail admits family 'should not have perpetrated acts' which harmed Libya
Footage of the “playboy” son of ousted leader Col Muammer Gaddafi has been aired on Libyan state television, showing him wearing blue prison overalls and asking for the forgiveness of the nation.
The video of Saadi, one of the late Col Gaddafi’s seven sons, was broadcast from a jail cell in Tripoli where he is being held without charge by the Libyan government, since being extradited from Niger earlier this month.
“I apologise to the Libyan people, and I apologise to the dear brothers in the Libyan government for all the harm I’ve caused and for disturbing the security and stability of Libya,” he said. “I admit that these things were wrong, and we should not have perpetrated these acts.”
Pallid, his head shaven and his beard flecked with grey, Mr Gaddafi looked a far from the playboy who spent years revelling in the wealth acquired through his father’s dictatorship.
Drugs, lavish parties, fast cars and women, were some of the 40-year-old’s favourite pasttimes. But he is most famous for his passion for football - and treating the Libyan football league as his own personal empire.
He occasionally headed the country’s football federation and national team, or passed his time issuing arbitrary and sometimes cruel orders to his players.
When the Telegraph interviewed former friends and football colleagues in 2011, they recounted how Saadi had a brutally childish approach to friendship, ordering friends to accompany him to various events and locking them up in his dog kennel at home if they declined offer.
He has not appeared in court yet and no formal charges against him have been announced, but the government has said it has evidence linking Saadi Gaddafi to recent unrest in southern Libya.
Unlike his brother Saif al-Islam, who is also in a Libyan jail, Saadi is not wanted by the international criminal court in the Hague.
Libya’s new rulers have fought to try Gaddafi loyalists at home, as a show of sovereignty. But the country continues to be fraught with instability and the rule of law is weak. Thousands of prisoners from the war in 2011 continue to languish in prison without trial. Allegations of torture by the militias guarding them are rife.
Last month, Human Rights Watch released a report after visiting and speaking with senior regime members, including Abdullah al-Senussi, Col Gaddafi’s right hand man, and Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. Officials told the rights group that these prisoners either did not have lawyers representing them or did not have adequate access to their legal counsel.