Saadi Gaddafi: Son of Libya's ex-leader freed from Tripoli jail

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Sa'adi Gaddafi sitting behind barsImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
Saadi Gaddafi was cleared of killing the Libyan football coach, and targeting protesters

The son of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has been freed from prison where he had been held since 2014.

Saadi Gaddafi - a former commander of Libya's special forces - was famous for attempting an Italian football career.

In 2003 he signed for Perugia, but rarely stepped on the pitch.

He fled to Niger when his father was overthrown and killed in 2011, but was extradited back to Libya where he was cleared of crimes including murder.

A justice ministry source told the AFP news agency the decision was made to free Mr Gaddafi, said to be either 47 or 48, following a court ruling several years ago.

A separate source said certain conditions had to be met before the release.

He had been accused of the killing of Libyan football coach Bashir al-Rayani in 2005, as well as committing crimes against protestors when the uprising against his father began in 2011.

He was later found innocent.

Before joining Perugia, he played for several clubs sides in Libya, as well as the national team.

He is now believed to have flown to Turkey.

On Monday Libya's Presidential Council announced the release of other prisoners including one of Muammar Gaddafi's right-hand men, Ahmad Ramadan, according to AFP.

In a statement, Libya's Government of National Unity said it hoped Saadi Gaddafi's release would help national reconciliation.

Since 2011, the country has been marked by conflict and chaos.

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