By Ashraf Abdul-Wahab.
Tripoli, 28 March 2014:
A calm and seemingly un-bruised Saadi Qaddafi appeared on a televised video . . .[restrict]from Hadba prison yesterday to deny to allegations that he had been ill treated, beaten and tortured.
Former Prime Minister Ali Zeidan had said in an interview this week in The Times of London that he had heard that Saadi was abused and tortured in the prison. He said that prison guards had been prisoners during Qaddafi’s era and were suspected of taking revenge.
Even before that, there were allegations on social media that Qaddafi’s youngest son was being mistreated and tortured, in particular to obtain information as to the whereabouts of money which he supposedly hid before he escaped to Niger.
The video showed him, apparently from his prison cell and in a blue prison uniform, saying that he had been informed of the rumours. Denying them, he touched his body with both hands to indicate that he was in sound condition.
“I was expecting something else but I had found a different situation in which procedures are fair,” he said. “If I knew that the situation was good, I would have returned to Libya from the beginning,” he said somewhat implausibly.
There was heating in his cell and he could pray as well, he stated.
He apologised to the Libyan people, the revolution and the government, saying he regretted what he had done and asking for forgiveness. He also called on people to disarm and seek reconciliation. He regretted destabilising the country and not being able to do anything to help the country rebuild again.
There was a message for his mother, wife, sister and children, saying he was in good health and in need of nothing.
At the end of the video, Qaddafi’s internal security chief Abdullah Mansour, who was in exile in Niger with Saadi but extradited before him and now likewise in Hadba prison, said that he too was fine. He similarly apologised to the Libyans who, he said, had suffered at the hands of the former regime of which he was part.
The media office at Hadba prison had earlier told the Libya Herald that what Zeidan had said was “100-percent untrue” and that international organisations could visit the prison anytime to see the conditions of the prison and prisoners too.
With input from Ahmed Elumami [/restrict]