Niger will not extradite al-Saadi Kaddafi even though the son of the slain Libyan leader violated his asylum conditions with “subversive” comments in a television interview, officials said on Saturday.
“Our position remains the same — we will hand Saadi Gaddafi to a government that has an independent and impartial justice system,” government spokesperson Marou Amadou told reporters in Niamey.
Gaddafi, who took refuge in Niger after the fall of Tripoli ended his father Muammar’s 42-year rule of Libya, told al-Arabiya television by telephone that he would return to his country and said a nationwide rebellion was brewing against its new rulers.
“I will return to Libya at any time,” he said.
“There is a rebellion that is going on day after day, and there will be a rebellion in the entire country,” he said, adding that the Libyans were ruled “by gangs”.
Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) responded with a renewed call to the Niger authorities to extradite al-Saadi Gaddafi, saying that relations between the neighbouring countries were at risk.
Amadou said that Gaddafi’s comments were “subversive and unfortunate” and that all former close aides to the slain ruler who had taken refuge in Niger “must abstain from all agitation, all subversive behaviour”.
“We would like to say to the NTC that Niger’s government in no way approved or prompted this business, and we also are badly disappointed”, Amadou said.
“It is with great bitterness that I say that al-Saadi Gaddafi, in predicting an imminent uprising in Libya, has contravened the terms and conditions under which we took him in.”
But “our position is simple, we cannot deliver someone to a place where he risks being put to death and where he is not likely to have a dignified trial”, he said.
Amadou said that the surveillance of Gaddafi had been seriously strengthened and that the government was considering sanctions against those who were guarding him.
He added that Niger had authorised the International Criminal Court to take over Gaddafi’s case but it had not responded.
He took refuge in Libya’s southern neighbour last August. Niamey has refused to extradite him despite repeated requests from the new Libyan authorities.
They accuse him of having “taken goods by force and intimidation when he led the Libyan football federation,” according to international police organisation Interpol, which issued a “red notice” for his arrest.
Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou said on November 11 that his country had granted political asylum to al-Saadi Gaddafi on “humanitarian grounds”. –Sapa-AFP