Saadi Gaddafi, one of the sons of Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi has applied to have his UN-imposed travel ban lifted. He currently is restricted to living in Niger, a country of upright Muslims who observe the fasting month of Ramadan in spite of the heat. Saadi however is perhaps used to a playboy life style, as a few months into the war on Libya during a rare interview with media lamented that he could "no longer go on Safaris".
His response came in a question about what he thought about the war on Libya and what it means to him. His response shocked Libyans who don't have hobbies such as "Safari" which is normally the preserve of white colonialists in Africa, who wish to feel superior by hunting down lions with guns and all the precautions that ensure no danger to their own lives.
Niger is a country that many fans of his father Muammar Qaddafi, would be very happy in. A black African state, with an all-Muslim population, the Nigeriens (not to be confused with Nigeria further to the south) are an honest and upright people. When Saadi travels around the city or countryside, he is escorted and given the trappings of a head of state, since the Gaddafi family is more popular in Niger than the country's own leaders.
However, Saadi is not used to being restricted to one country, no matter how supportive its population. While one million Libyans have been forced out for fear of their lives after the occupation of their country by foreign installed stooges, and have little choice about living in Tunisia or Egypt and no funds for travel and having to take on menial jobs, Saadi's list of countries he would be happy to move to include Australia and Canada.
At present, Niger, refuses to accede to Libyan occupation puppet regime demands that he be extradited because it confirms that he would not receive a fair trial. Its own embassy in Tripoli has been attacked by gun-toting rats. But he cannot easily leave the country because Interpol issued a “red notice” for his arrest last September. It means he cannot travel without risk of arrest, even if another country were to welcome him.
Saadi's lawyer who is an Israeli, Nick Kaufman, insisted on Monday that safety was his client’s primary consideration in wishing to leave Niger. In an interview with CNN, he claimed that “there has been at least one assassination attempt”. He added that instability in neighbouring Mali could also put Saadi in danger.
Saadi has always been non-political and not distinguished within Libya other than being given command of Libyan special forces, and excelling as a footballer. He was made captain of the Libyan national football team, had his own football team, and was president of the Libyan Football Federation. Born 25th May 1973, he is aged 38.
In 2006, Al-Saadi Gaddafi and the Jamahiriya people's government launched a project to create a semi-autonomous city similar to Hong Kong in Libya, stretching 40 km between Tripoli and the Tunisian border. The proposed new city would become a high tech, banking, medical and educational center not requiring visas to enter. The city would have its own international airport and a major seaport.
Saadi Gaddafi promised religious tolerance with both "synagogues and churches" and no discrimination in this new metropolis. The new city would have "Western-style" business laws that Saadi thought European and American companies would find welcoming and familiar.
Saadi used to take great interest in the affairs of many of Libya's other business interests like Tamoil, the oil refining and marketing company owned by the Libyan Jamahiriya, in which Ugandan tycoon, Museveni confidante and playboy Habib Kagimu played an important role. Kagimu claims to have set up the detente with the British, arranging for Tony Blair's minister Mike O'Brien to visit the Leader, paving the way for Blair.
The agreement with the British and U.S. Americans, included that the Libyan Revolutionary Leader Muammar Gaddafi would be effectively silenced in return for a lifting of sanctions which had been imposed upon the country. When the Leader of the Revolution visited New York to attend the United Nations summit for the first time, in late September 2009, his speech effectively broke the agreement brokered by Sayf-al-Islam, Musa Kusa and others. The western elite thus decided to reopen their efforts to eliminate the Revolutionary Leader.
Saadi's lifestyle has come under frequent attacks. In July 2010, Saadi Gaddafi was ordered by an Italian court to pay 392,000 Euros to a luxurious Ligurian hotel for an unpaid bill dating back to a month-long stay in the summer of 2007.
Saadi is married to the daughter of original Libyan Revolutionary Command Council member Major General Khuwaildi al-Hamidi who is now Secretary General of the Libyan Popular National Movement (Arabic: الحركة الوطنية الشعبية الليبية), set up on 15th February 2012. The LPNM however mysteriously has not given any continuation for the Libyan Jamahiriya, which is all that is required for support from many governments especially within Latin America.
Instead the LPNM has chosen to act as a movement without any alignment to the Third Universal Theory advocated by Libyan Revolutionary Leader Muammar Qaddafi, and basically to continue the neo-liberal policies of Say-al-Islam, who has also been awarded an honorary position within the movement.
The LPNM is campaigning for the release of political prisoners, holding to account of war criminals, open and fair trials, accountability of international organizations and occupation forces, a return to peace and prosperity,restoring Libyan sovereignty, disbanding militias, and reconstruction of the country, all of which are non-controversial, however two main points on its program fly in the face of Muammar Qaddafi and the Jamahiriya:
The LPNM says it wants Libyans to "choose their leaders and the political system in the ways of democracy, under a constitution approved by the Libyan people", rather than the direct participatory democracy of the Jamahiriya, and to "put the Holy Quran and the Sunnah as the reference of legislation in Libya, away from extremism and fanaticism", although in the Libyan Jamahiriya the Quran was already the Law of Society since 1977.
A US diplomatic cable in 2009 called Saadi "the black sheep" of Muammar Gaddafi's family. It mentioned scuffles with European police, "abuse of drugs and alcohol, excessive partying" and "profligate affairs with men and women". Saadi's bisexuality had partly prompted the arrangement of his marriage to the commander's daughter, the cable said. Gay pornography was reportedly found among Saadi's possessions when his home was ransacked by looters after the fall of Tripoli, although this is no evidence as it could have been placed there.
The rebel rats claimed that they captured Saadi Gaddafi during the Battle of Tripoli, on 21 August, but later the claim was false.
On 24 August, Al-Saadi contacted CNN, stating that he had the authority to negotiate on behalf of loyalist forces, and wished to discuss a ceasefire with U.S. and NATO authorities. A week later he contacted Al Arabiya, stating his father was ready to step down, and called for dialogue with the National Transitional Council.
On 5 September, Saadi said in an interview with CNN that an "aggressive" speech by his brother Saif al-Islam had led to the breakdown of talks between NTC forces and Gaddafi loyalists in Bani Walid, and said he had not seen his father in two months. Saadi also claimed a position of neutrality in the conflict and offered to mediate.
On 11 September, Saadi fled to Niger and was allowed entrance on humanitarian grounds. According to the government of Niger, they plan to detain Al-Saadi while determining what to do with him. Al-Saadi Gaddafi had also been trying to assemble a team to transport him to Barbados or Venezuela.
On 29 September, an Interpol red notice was issued for Saadi. Brigi Rafini, the prime minister of Niger said he would not allow Saadi to be extradited.
On 11 November, Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou said his government had decided to grant Al-Saadi Gaddafi asylum "on humanitarian grounds".
On 7 December the Mexican interior secretary said that Mexican intelligence agents broke up a smuggling ring attempting to bring Al-Saadi into Mexico under a false name.
Mexico, Venzuela, Bahamas, Canada and Australia have all been mentioned in past months as places Saadi would like to go to. But, almost certainly, none of them, other than Venezuela, would have him.
Kaufman made the application to the UN’s sanctions committee in late June, but has been informed that the application has been put on hold. He says he fears that the block is political rather than administrative and, if put in place by one of the Security Council’s Permanent Members, may be indefinite.
Meanwhile, Saadi’s Toronto apartment has effectively been seized because of unpaid fees. Records show that Toronto Standard Condiminium Corp. No. 1964 filed a lien against the property, valued at C$ 1.6 million, “for unpaid common expenses in the amount of C$4,431″.
Saadi bought the luxury waterside penthouse during a 2008 visit to Canada.
Kaufman has said that Saadi is unable to pay the fees because his assets were frozen by the UN during last year’s revolution, along with those of the rest of his family.