Gaddafi son Saif at Tripoli hotel after arrest report

TRIPOLI Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:39pm EDT

1 of 4. Saif Al-Islam, son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, shakes hands with supporters in Tripoli August 23, 2011 in this still image taken from video.

Credit: Reuters/Reuters TV

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TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Saif al-Islam, the son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi who rebels and the International Criminal Court said had been arrested, arrived late on Monday at the Tripoli hotel where foreign reporters are staying.

Saif appeared at the Rixos Hotel late at night and spoke to foreign journalists there.

Television footage showed him pumping his fists in the air, smiling, waving and shaking hands with supporters, as well as holding his arms aloft with each hand making the V for victory sign.

Saif told journalists that Tripoli, which has been largely overrun in the past 24 hours by rebel forces seeking to topple his father, was in fact in government hands and that Muammar Gaddafi was safe.

Earlier, armed pro-Gaddafi security mean guarding the hotel took a small group of journalists to Gaddafi's Bab al Aziziyah compound, where they had a meeting with Saif.

They returned to the hotel accompanied by Saif, who then spoke to journalists in the lobby before taking some of them back to the compound a short distance away for a brief visit.

Saif said: "I am here to disperse the rumors ...

"This is a war of technology and electronics to cause chaos and terror in Libya. They also brought in armed gangs by sea and by road."

He was referring to a text message sent to mobile phone subscribers in Tripoli on Monday congratulating them on the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.

Saif also said that Tripoli was under government control and that he did not care about an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court in The Hague seeking him and his father for crimes against humanity.

When asked if his father was safe and well in Tripoli, Saif told a journalist: "Of course."

(Reporting by Missy Ryan; Writing by Giles Elgood; Editing by Alison Williams)

This corrected story removes reference to hotel in paragraph 3; makes clear it Tripoli not Libya overrun in paragraph 4

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Comments (4)
Next they’ll be telling us he’s in a luxury suite ordering up room service while CNN is interviewing him.

Aug 22, 2011 8:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
If the UN really exists he will be whisked away. I doubt that’s going to happen.

Aug 22, 2011 9:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
billybob1 wrote:
No wonder Gerald Celente has coined the term “press-titutes”, which applies to so many of today’s talking heads, pundits and field reporters willing to do whatever their editors tell them to do — as long as their paychecks keep coming. Gee, I wonder who tells the editors what’s permissible to report to the unwashed masses.

Aug 22, 2011 9:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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