Op-Ed: Remember the Arab Spring and those heady days when many in the west thought a new era of democracy was coming to the Middle East via people power. The dream quickly soured as one country after another experienced chaos and turmoil.
It seems a very long time since PM Cameron of the UK and Sarkozy of France patted themselves on the back as they addressed a crowd in Libya and talked of a new era.
When Colonel Gaddafi was caught and summarily executed the writing was on the wall. Libya now struggles with two opposing powers in the country and various rogue militias.
One high profile son of Gaddafi was Saif al Islam who was expected to carry the can for atrocities before and during the Libyan uprising. At one time his name filled the mainstream media first as he was hunted, then captured and then scheduled to go on trial.
Saif Gaddafi was captured in Zintan as he was fleeing to neighbouring Niger and extradited. Held in a jail in Zintan there he remains or does he?
With news on Saif al Islam almost non-existent some question whether he is alive.
The group holding him in Zintan refused to send him to Tripoli in case old Gaddafi supporters managed to infiltrate and find him innocent. Little wonder the ICC believes he will not get a fair trial in Libya and must be handed over to them.
Charged with war crimes and corruption Saif appeared in a Tripoli court in April 2014. He appeared again via video link in May but the International Criminal Court in The Hague demanded he was handed over for trial.
The Mail Online picked up on an ironic twist claiming that "Legal fees of Gaddafi's son to be funded by British taxpayer as he faces war crimes trial in The Hague." A British barrister agreed to represent Sail al Islam at The Hague and as the Mail Online points out "The ICC receives around 20 per cent of its £100million funding from the UK."
But Saif Gaddafi remains in Libya.
The last news was November 2014 when Russia Today reported "Saif Gaddafi’s latest hearing was postponed to November 16, after he failed to appear by video link from jail. This has triggered concerns over his safety. His lawyer told RT that he hasn't been able to contact his client directly for two years."
"While in his militia-controlled jail, Saif had parts of his fingers amputated, Reuters reported in 2011. The country’s authorities claim the injuries were sustained in a NATO airstrike."
Call him Saif al Islam or call him Saif Gaddafi he is a forgotten man.
If peace ever comes to Libya will Gaddafi's son face a fair trial in Libya, be handed over to the authorities in The Hague or is he already dead?