Gadhaffi's son runs free in Tripoli

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PostTue Aug 23, 2011 4:44 pm » by Savwafair2012 ... 28611.html

Saif al-Islam, the son of Muammar Gaddafi who was reported captured by Libyan opposition forces on Sunday, has made a defiant public appearance in Tripoli.

Television footage showed Saif, considered the most influential and politically active of Gaddafi's children, pumping his fists in the air, smiling, waving and shaking hands with supporters. At one point, he was pictured holding his arms aloft with each hand making the "V" for victory sign.

"I am here to refute the lies," Saif, 39, said on Monday in reference to reports of his arrest. He later visited the Rixos Hotel, where many members of the foreign media have been based since the conflict started, to speak to foreign journalists.

"We broke the back of the rebels. It was a trap. We gave them a hard time, so we are winning," he said.

Gaddafi's sons: Where are they?
Mohammad: Surrendered to rebel fighters in Tripoli but has reportedly escaped.

Saif al-Islam: In Tripoli and interacts with journalists to disprove reports of his capture by rebels.

Saadi: Reported to have been captured by rebels in Tripoli.

Saif al-Arab: Killed by a NATO airstrike in April.

Khamis: At large; rumoured to be leading leading troops in Tripoli.
Gaddafi's son told journalists that Tripoli, which has been a battleground for the past 24 hours, remained in government hands.

Asked whether his father was safe, Saif said: "Of course."

He said he did not care about an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court in The Hague seeking him and his father for alleged crimes against humanity.

Earlier, armed pro-Gaddafi security men guarding the hotel took a small group of journalists to Gaddafi's Bab al-Azizyah compound, where they had a meeting with Saif.

They returned to the hotel accompanied by Saif, who then spoke to journalists in the lobby before taking others of them back to the compound a short distance away for a brief visit.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the ICC prosecutor, had earlier said the 39-year-old had been arrested and was in detention.

But the ICC said on Tuesday that it had never received official confirmation of Saif's capture from the opposition National Transitional Council (NTC).

"Different answers were given. That was a little ambiguous," said ICC official Fadi el-Abdallah.

Waheed Burshan, an NTC member told Al Jazeera: "We had confirmation Saif al-Islam was arrested, but we have no idea how he escaped."

Meanwhile, rebel forces said they had arrested Saadi Gaddafi, the beleaguered Libyan leader's third son. The claim was made even as the location of other relatives and senior officials remained unknown

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