LIBYA: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi faces execution for being a member of ISIL

Saif al-Islam openly used the ISIL "finger preaching" gesture (left), as well as gestured the act of beheading (right)Saif al-Islam openly used the ISIL "finger preaching" gesture (left), as well as gestured the act of beheading (right)

ZINTAN – Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, has been sentenced to death by a court in Zintan, where he is being held in custody, for being a member of the Islamic State.

Gaddafi’s most prominent and powerful son is famous and notorious for making a televised address during the 2011 Libyan civil war between anti-government rebels and the Gaddafi regime loyalists, where he threateningly waved a finger at those opposing the government.

Now this footage has been used against him as evidence, the prosecutors and judge claiming that it clearly shows Saif al-Islam making the common ISIL gesture with his finger, as well as “mimicking the act of beheading”.

Saif al-Islam was captured a month after Gaddafi’s defeat in the Libyan desert, disguised as a Jawa scavenger, and shown in the custody of Zintan-based militants. The fingers of the hand which he waved while making treats on TV were mysteriously missing. His jailers said that his fingers got severed after he slipped and fell down the stairs, contradicting the court’s statement that his fingers have been taken as evidence of his crime and allegiance to ISIL, which again contradicts reports of the militants involved in his arrest.

The fighters who arrested Saif al-Islam claimed that he had cut off his own fingers as an act of repentance at the time of his arrest, much like his father Muammar Gaddafi, faced with his own guilt during the closing hours of the Battle of Sirte, sodomized himself with a sharp object, shot himself in the head and then proceeded to drag his own body through the streets.

The court gave a statement that this shows that the Libyan rebels were fighting against ISIL all along, as well as denounced Saif al-Islam’s 2011 TV threats as “total rubbish, none of which came true”, alluding to the fact that Libya is now a united, stable and democratic country.

We managed to briefly get in touch with Saif al-Islam in prison over the phone, where he reaffirmed to us that he is being treated “exceptionally well” by his captors, better than when his own father ruled the country, and also told us that the several newly-missing fingers from his left hand that were noticed by visiting journalists a few weeks ago were the result of a “sewing accident”.

He said that he “repents for his crimes and is limitlessly grateful for having received a fair trial the like of which was never seen during his father’s rule”, as audible muffled screams of other prisoners were heard in the background.

When we asked the Zintan authorities how Saif al-Islam will be executed, they replied that the answer to this question is self-evident.