By Ria Novosti
Niger will not extradite the deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saadi, despite the demands from Libyan authorities, Al Arabiya reported on Saturday.
The Libyan News Agency LANA earlier reported that Libyan Foreign Minister Ashour Bin Hayal held a telephone conversation with his Nigerian counterpart Bazoum Mohamed and urged him to extradite Saadi to Libya, following Saadi’s statements about the new nationwide rebellion, being plotted in Libya.
“Mr Ashour Bin Hayal reiterated to the foreign minister of Niger that these statements threaten the bilateral relationship between the two countries and that the government of Niger should adopt strict measures against him (Saadi) including extraditing him to Libya to be prosecuted for the crimes he committed against the Libyan people,” LANA reported.
A Nigerian government spokesman Marou Amadou told the Al Arabiya on Saturday that Niger would “hand Saadi Qaddafi to a government that has an independent and impartial justice system.”
“But we cannot hand over someone to a place where he could face the death penalty or where he is not likely to have a trial worthy of the name,” Al Arabiya quoted Amadou as saying.
Saadi, 38, fled Libya for Niger in mid-September together with other members of the Gaddafi family after rebel forces established control over most of the country in August, forcing the Libyan leader to go on the run. He has been granted asylum on humanitarian grounds in Niger. Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for Saadi Gaddafi at the request of Libya’s transitional authorities.
In a telephone call to Al Arabiya on Friday, Saadi said that “there is a rebellion that is going on day after day, and there will be a rebellion in the entire country,” adding that the Libyans are ruled “by gangs.”
After eight months of fierce anti-government fighting, which claimed hundreds of lives and devastated the economy, the deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi, who had ruled Libya for 42 years, was killed in October after being captured by rebel forces near his home town of Sirte.
The country now is ruled by the National Transitional Council that had been recognized by almost 70 countries as “the only legitimate body representing the people of Libya and the Libyan state.”