London: Saif al-Islam, the eldest son of
former Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, has reportedly
hired a group of South African mercenaries to help him flee
to a friendly nation.
39-year-old Saif`s whereabouts are the source of
much speculation after he escaped from the town of Bani Walid
on October 19, the day before Colonel Gaddafi was captured by
National Transitional Council`s fighters and brutally killed
in his hometown of Sirte.
Now, according to information received by International
Criminal Court, Saif has currently taken refuge with Tuareg
nomads, who his family had helped financially in the past, in
borderlands between Libya and Niger, the `Daily Mail` said.
The Court, based in The Hague in the Netherlands, also
said Saif had been in contact with them through intermediaries
to discuss the possibility of surrendering for trial.
"There are some people connected with him that
are in touch with people connected with us... it`s through
intermediaries. We have some information that there is a
mercenary group trying to help him to move to a different
country, so we are trying to prevent this activity.
"We are also working with some states to see if
we can disrupt this attempt. Some of them are South Africans
allegedly," ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo was quoted by
the British newspaper as saying.
Moreno-Ocampo said that the ICC was not making any deal
with Saif but was explaining through the contacts that he had
to face trial because he had been indicted for war crimes. "He
says he is innocent," said the prosecutor.
The ICC has also warned Saif that it could order a mid-
air interception if he tried to flee by plane from his Sahara
desert hideout for a safe haven.