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The Playboy Son of Gaddafi Covered in Sand - 21/11/2011, 09:02 WIB
EditorJimmy Hitipeuw - The playboy son of Colonel Gaddafi could face a firing squad after the Libyan government yesterday refused to hand him over to the International Criminal Court.

Officials in Tripoli insisted that British-educated Saif Al-Islam, who was captured on Saturday, would stand trial in his own country for crimes against the Libyan people. The charge carries the death penalty.

The 39-year-old used to wear fashionable western clothes and designer stubble when he threw wild parties in the South of France and at his £10million mansion in Hampstead, North London.

But when rebel fighters tracked him down in the southern Libyan desert, trying to flee over the border to Niger, he wore a bushy black beard, turban and flowing robes.

Saif – who recently said he would fight to his death – claimed he was a humble camel herder and gave his name as the Arabic equivalent of John Smith.

He then leapt from his car and made a farcical attempt to hide behind it before diving under a bundle of clothes, covering it with sand. He also rubbed sand on his face and head in an apparent attempt to disguise himself.

‘But when we told him to surrender he did,’ said Ajami Ali al-Atari, the commander of the operation.

The rebels flew him to the town of Zintan, south of Tripoli, where a mob of locals surrounded the Libyan air force transport plane. A tape recording picked up some of the conversations on the tarmac between Saif and his captors.

‘I knew it. I knew that there would be a big crowd,’ he was heard saying as he peeped out through curtains before recoiling in apparent terror. He added: ‘I’m staying here. They’ll empty their guns into me the second I go out there.’

But when men in the plane lit up cigarettes, he told them they were putting his life at risk. ‘The plane’s sealed and we’ll suffocate,’ he said. ‘We’re going to choke to death.’ When one of his guards suggested opening the door for ventilation, he appeared to think the armed crowd banging on the walls posed a more immediate threat to his health. ‘I don’t need fresh air, man,’ he said.

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