Secrets not Saif: Death penalty threat for Gaddafi’s son
Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi is a man with a lot to say. He is the last chance the world has to find out how the Gaddafi regime went from Public Enemy No 1 to bosom buddies with Britain and other Western powers.
Libyan law does not allow for international judges from The Hague to be involved, as had earlier been mooted.
After Colonel Gaddafi's battlefield execution last month, there had been hopes his captured son Saif Al-Islam would receive a fair trial. However, there are powerful figures in the West who could influence the course of justice.
The International Criminal Court in The Hague says it is not going to call for his extradition, instead allowing Libya to try him on home soil. The trial on charges of crimes against the Libyan people could take place in as little as two months.
British Labor MP Jeremy Corbyn told RT he believes the ICC’s willingness to allow Saif Gaddafi to be tried at home all but guarantees that any inconvenient truths he carries will be buried forever:
“Libya insists it is capable of giving Saif Gaddafi a fair trial despite its judicial system not being independent for over 40 years,” says the MP. “It is still unclear whether he will be tried at all. Rival ruling factions are fighting over who gets to exact revenge. With the death penalty likely, it seems Saif Gaddafi and his secrets will be silenced.”
His future might indeed be bleak in the hands of Libya’s new rulers. Libyan officials are already calling for the death penalty in what many fear is a tactic to keep those dirty secrets hidden forever.
Political analyst William Engdahl told RT believes matters have been arranged so that “the information about the relationships that Gaddafi and the CIA [had] over decades will not come out.”
He believes Western powers are notoriously dedicated to protecting their secrets. “Look at what happened to the trial of Milosevic,” he said.
Saif Gaddafi was his father’s right-hand man and a crucial mediating go-between with the West. He enjoyed a playboy lifestyle in London, counting Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson and Prince Andrew amongst his pals. There are even reports he was entertained at Buckingham Palace.
He studied at one of London’s top universities. He was even invited back to give a speech there as recently as last year, when he was introduced by a professor as someone who "looks to democracy, civil society and deep liberal values for the core of his inspiration" – a far cry from the Gaddafis’ previous role as international pariahs.
Libya’s oil wealth meant it had a lot to give, and some details of what Britain won in return have already emerged.
Saif Gaddafi’s alma mater was given 1.5 million pounds by his charitable foundation as part of a deal to educate hundreds of Libya’s future civil servants.
And it wasn’t just Britain.
According to Saif Gaddafi, Libya funded Nicolas Sarkozy’s path to the French presidency in return for a seat at France’s table.
However, the Gaddafis’ fall from favor was sudden and spectacular.
And since then, according to Saif Al-Islam, their former friends have been frantically trying to cover up their past links with the family, desperate to stave off a trial at the International Criminal Court.
“Under the table they are trying to negotiate with us a deal, saying if you accept this deal we will take care of the court. What does this mean? It means that the court is controlled by the countries that are attacking us,” he said in one of his interviews.