18-02-2020 09:26 PM Jerusalem Timing

Libyan Regime Defiant as Gaddafi’s Son Parades Free in Tripoli

Libyan Regime Defiant as Gaddafi’s Son Parades Free in Tripoli

Muammar Gaddafi’s son has not been arrested by rebels and is still in Tripoli

Muammar Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam, wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, has not been arrested by rebels - despite earlier reports - and is still in Tripoli.

Col Gaddafi's son and heir apparent emerged amongst supporters in the capital Tripoli late on Monday quashing reports of his arrest by rebels and highly embarrassing the rebel leadership and the International Criminal Court who claimed he had been in the custody of anti-Gaddafi fighters for the past 24 hours.

"Firstly I want to deny all the rumors," Saif al-Islam Gaddafi told foreign journalists. "Nato and the West have modern technology and they blocked and jammed communications. They sent messages to the Libyan people through the Libyana network, I think. They stopped the (state TV) broadcasts, they've created a media and electronic war to spread chaos and fear in Libya."

"Tripoli is under our control. Everyone should rest assured. All is well in Tripoli," he told journalists outside the compound at Bab al-Azizya, smiling broadly and flashing the V for victory sign despite the rebels' encroachment.

Along the route, armed men cheered and fired weapons into the air as the convoy passed by.

Asked whether he feared he would be handed over to the International Criminal Court, Saif al-Islam replied defiantly: "Screw the criminal court."

Mohammed Gaddafi, the leader's eldest son whose arrest had also been announced by rebels, has escaped, the Libyan ambassador to Washington told CNN. The rebels said they had cut off a column of pro-Gaddafi troops attempting to march on Tripoli from the city of Sirte, the leader's hometown. The rebels themselves say they are awaiting thousands of reinforcements from around Libya.
  
The mood around the iconic Green Square, renamed "Martyrs Square" by the rebels, has been joyous with fighters and their supporters dancing through the night and waving the red, black and green flag of anti-regime forces.

US President Barack Obama called for "an inclusive transition" in Libya, demanding that Gaddafi "explicitly" give up power and warning the rebels that their struggles were "not over yet".