As of this week, Hannibal Gaddafi, one of seven children of Muammar Gaddafi and his Widow Safia Farkash has spent without a scintilla of evidence that he violated any Lebanese law, nearly one and a half years wrongly incarcerated in a Beirut jail.
The Lebanese government has rejected increased local and international demands that it provide a legal justification for Hannibal's continued imprisonment and violations of his basic human rights.
[Photo: Hannibal Gaddafi]
Hannibal was abducted from Syria on December 11, 2015. According to Lebanon's Internal Security Force (ISF), investigators, Amal member Hassan Yaacoub and his brothers Ali and Hussein had orchestrated an elaborate scheme to seize Gaddafi from Syria and force him into Lebanon. They discovered that Hassan Yaacoub had worked with a woman named "Fatima" to lure Gaddafi from the coastal Syrian province of Latakia to Damascus, and on to Lebanon. Security forces arrested Hassan and Hussein Yaacoub but not Ali even though Hannibal has stated that it was Ali who beat him in the face repeatedly with a pistol.
All Hannibal wants is to return to Libya when it's feasible. Sources close to his family and some political observers in Libya, Cairo and elsewhere believe that his brother, Seif al Islam who has recently been released into loose protective house arrest which, according to his sister and mother, Seif agrees is the safest place for him at the moment, may well be Libya's future leader.
Seif recently declined a Putin offer of asylum in Russia and favors a UN supervised election to decide Libya's government. Much of his time these days is reportedly spent building tribal loyalties and some suggest he sometimes coordinates with the General Khalifa Hafter's, a former Gadaffi aide and currently a leading figure in the Tobruk based government with the support of its Parliament.
As is well known, since the 2011 revolution, Libya has been engulfed in chaos, devolving into civil war in the summer of 2014 when Libya Dawn, a coalition of Islamist and Misratan militias, captured Tripoli. Tribal forces opposing Libya Dawn have coalesced in eastern Libya around Haftar's Libyan National Army, supporting the national parliament in Tobruk. Russia officially recognizes Tobruk, not Tripoli, as the legitimate government, even printing Tobruk's banknotes.
In testimony before the US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee on 3/10/2017, the chief of the Pentagon's Africa command, General Thomas Waldhauser, testified that "Russia is trying to exert influence on the ultimate decision of who and what entity and individuals comprise the government inside Libya." Asked by Russian critic Senator Lindsey Graham whether Russia was "trying to do in Libya what they are doing in Syria", Waldhauser replied , "Yes."
Russia appears to be seeking a future role for Seif in Libya's government. This is relevant to the Musa Sadr case because recently Seif has been saying that "it's time to put the Sadr case behind us" implying that he will open the Sadr case file to the public.
Seif and Hannibal's sister Aisha, a human rights lawyer and former UN Goodwill Ambassador, also plans to return to Libya and there is a grass roots movement, especially among Libya's tribes for the siblings to enter politics as political reformers. Support inside Libya and regionally for both Qaddafi children to return is growing according to Libyan sources.
Seif al-Islam Gaddafi (photo above) was sentenced to death by a court in Tripoli on July 28, 2015 in a mass trial of former regime figures widely criticized by human rights groups and observers.
However, the verdict was nullified the next year when the Libyan government announced that Seif was included in a General Libyan Amnesty and Seif was freed by the Tripoli Court. But Seif is still indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague and Interpol maintains a Red Notice to apprehend him should he travel abroad. Seif's sister, Aisha Gaddafi is living temporarily in Oman with her mother and children. As with her brother Hannibal, she intends to return to Libya.