As he waits for the beginning of his trial next month, Saif Al Islam Qaddafi’s life inside prison is not all that different from his life outside it.
The son of Libya’s deposed dictator Muammar Qaddafi has honey and tuna for breakfast, then washes his food down with the energy drink Red Bull. He also exercises daily in the room where he is held in the city of Zintan.
According to an Algerian journalist who spoke with Al Arabiya, Saif's guard told him last June that “Saif is being treated in accordance with Islamic Sharia teachings that preserve the detainee's dignity.”
The guad said Saif’s cell is “a large room with a bathroom and a courtyard where he can walk and sit under the sun. He exercises daily.” He added that Saif has asked for some religious books to read, and he has been provided with English books by some of the international organizations that visited him.
Saif has been held by a local militia in Zintan, 136km southwest of the capital Tripoli. The militia arrested him in the Libyan desert on November 19, 2011. Libya decided to put him on trial, defying a demand by the International Criminal Court which issued an arrest warrant and demanded to try him on war crimes.
“Qaddafi’s son is in good health,” said al-Ajmi Ali Letairi, leader of the militia. “He has undergone a successful surgery to treat his injured hand.” Letairi said the surgery was performed by a medical team from Tripoli who performed the surgery inside Saif's cell.
Asked for the reason why Saif was kept in detention in Zintan instead of transferring him to Tripoli, Letairi said “there are fears that Saif might flee or be killed instead of putting him on trial.”