Authorities in Libya have released Saadi Gaddafi, a son of the former leader Muammar Gaddafi who was ousted and killed during a 2011 uprising.
Prime minister-designate Abdul Hamid Dbeibah said in a tweet early on Monday that Gaddafi, 48, had been released in compliance with a previous court order.
Gaddafi immediately departed on a plane to Istanbul, according to an official source cited by Reuters.
Saadi Gaddafi, who was known for his playboy lifestyle during his father’s dictatorship and for being a professional footballer, fled for Niger during the Nato-backed uprising.
But he was tracked down and extradited to Libya in 2014 and has been imprisoned since then in Tripoli.
During the uprising, three of the dictator’s seven sons were killed and the country has since sunk into chaos, with rival factions vying for power. A government of national unity was installed in March as part of a peace push that was also meant to include elections planned for December.
Gaddafi’s release resulted from negotiations that included senior tribal figures and prime minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh, the official source said. Another source said the negotiations also involved former interior minister Fathi Bashagha.
Nel 2018 the justice ministry said Saadi Gaddafi had been found not guilty of “murder, deception, threats, enslavement and defamation of the former player Bashir Rayani”.
In July the New York Times said it had interviewed Saadi’s brother, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, who was held for years in the town of Zintan, as his supporters indicate he will run in the presidential elections set for December.