One of the sons of ousted strongman Col. Moammar Gadhafi was negotiating his own surrender, Libyan rebels said Wednesday, while another son issued a defiant message saying that the regime would fight to the death.
The mixed messages came as the manhunt for Col. Gadhafi intensified and Libyans said they want the dictator to face trial in his homeland — not at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Multiple rebel sources said Saadi Gadhafi, Col. Gadhafi’s third son and commander of the regime’s elite military force, contacted Abdul Hakim El Haj, the rebels’ military commander in Tripoli, and discussed the prospects of his surrender.
“Saadi has been in contact and wants to surrender in return for a guarantee of his safety,” said Mohamed, a rebel spokesman who gave only his first name. “His safety will be guaranteed, but he will not be immune from prosecution.”
Saadi Gadhafi did not indicate whether any other members of his family or the regime had agreed to surrender with him.
“We are going to die in our land. No one is going to surrender,” he said, according to an Associated Press report. He said he was speaking from a Tripoli suburb and that his father was fine.
In Tripoli, Libyans celebrating the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan said they want Col. Gadhafi to face trial in their country. The International Criminal Court in June issued arrest warrants for Col. Gadhafi, Seif al-Islam and the dictator’s brother-in-law and intelligence chief, Abdullah Senussi. All three are wanted on charges of crimes against humanity. Their whereabouts is unknown.
The rebels’ National Transitional Council has not taken an official position on whether to hand over the three men to the International Criminal Court if they are arrested in Libya.
“The council is weighing its options and biding its time,” said Mohamed, the rebel spokesman. “It is primarily a Libyan problem, so I think they should stand trial here.”
In Tripoli, thousands of people congregated at the Green Square, which the rebels have renamed Martyrs’ Square, to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan.
A mother of four who declined to give her name out of concern for the safety of her family said in a phone interview with The Times that the prevailing opinion in the capital is that the Gadhafis should be tried in a Libyan court, not the International Criminal Court.View Entire Story
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
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