Gaddafi’s son in attempt to seek refuge in Zimbabwe

There are reports that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is harbouring thoughts of flying to Zimbabwe to seek refuge, according to several media reports.

Saif al-Islam, who has long been seen as the second most influential figure in the country after his father, is thought to be on the run somewhere in the mountains on Libya’s southern borders with Algeria and Niger.

Various media outlets have been reporting that 39 year old Saif is desperately seeking to avoid the fate of his father, who was shot as forces of Libya’s National Transitional Council captured him on October 20th after the fall of his home town Sirte.

The International Criminal Court wants him arrested for crimes against humanity, for his alleged role in the suppression of opposition protests in Libya. The ICC said they had substantial evidence that Saif al-Islam had helped hire mercenaries to attack Libyan civilians protesting against his father’s rule.

The British Telegraph newspaper said on Tuesday that he was negotiating with the ICC to hand himself in to face war crimes charges. However, according to the paper, there are also reports that his armed escort may be trying to move him outside the court's jurisdiction to Zimbabwe.

ICC’s chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told the daily paper that they had information a mercenary group was trying to help him to move to a different country.

The Hague-based ICC issued a stern warning to Gaddafi’s son that it could order a mid-air interception if he tried to flee by plane from his hideout.

Zimbabwe is not a signatory to the ICC so is an attractive destination for despots and warlords. The third most wanted man in the Rwandan genocide, Protais Mpiranya, is believed to be hiding in Zimbabwe and Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam fled to Zimbabwe in 1991, where he remains. An Ethiopian court found him guilty in absentia, of genocide. – SW Radio Africa

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