Saif al-Islam Gaddafi death sentence
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, in Zintan Reuters

The most senior member of the Gaddafi family not captured or killed in Libya's revolutionary war has cast doubt on reports that Muammar Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam, has been freed.

Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam, a former senior Gaddafi aide and the Libyan dictator's cousin, told IBTimes UK from Cairo that as far as he was aware there had been no change in Saif al-Islam's situation and he was still being held in the mountain town of Zintan.

"As far as I know nothing has changed," Gaddaf al-Dam said. He added that his second cousin's fate was the same as many others who had supported the former regime. "He is with thousands of men, women and children who are also in jail. It is a very sad story of what has happened in Libya," he said.

France 24 reported Saif al-Islam had been released on 12 April, quoting QC Karim Kahn as saying Gaddafi's favoured son had been "given his liberty on April 12, 2016". He added that his client was "well and safe and in Libya".

The Guardian reported Saif al-Islam had been released to an undisclosed location and would be remaining in Libya. Neither Kahn nor his chambers were immediately available for comment on this article.

Libya's eastern House of Representatives based in Tobruk voted in favour of an amnesty for crimes committed during the country's 2011 revolution in July 2015. A document circulated on social media has shown an order from the Minister of Justice in Beida calling for Saif's release on 10 April 2016. "By law he and the others should be free," Gaddaf al-Dam said but added there was a difference between what should be and the reality on the ground in Libya.

2011 war crimes

Saif Gaddafi was sentenced to death along with eight other defendants, including former spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi and Gaddafi's Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi, for war crimes committed during the country's 2011 revolution.

Prior to filing in behind his father during the Arab Spring, Saif al-Islam was a reformist who allowed the north African oil producer's rapprochement with the international community following decades of isolation.

He also posed wearing sunglasses on yachts with businessmen and Tory party donors, met the royal family at Buckingham Palace and Windsor and had secretive affairs with models.

Saif Al-Islam was captured in 2011, dressed as a Taureg tribesman by Zintani militias from western Libya. He has been charged with war crimes by the International Criminal Court in the Hague for his role during the uprisings in Libya. The ICC has said he was an "indirect co-perpetrator" of crimes against humanity including murder and persecution.