Gadhafi's Son Reenters Libyan Presidential Race After Court Grants His Appeal

Saif al-Islam Gadhafi's candidacy was initially rejected on the basis of his conviction in absentia for war crimes committed during the 2011 fighting that ousted his father. His lawyer hails 'victory for justice'

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Haaretz
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Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi registers as a presidential candidate for the December 24 election at the registration center in Sebha, Libya, last month.
Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi registers as a presidential candidate for the December 24 election at the registration center in Sebha, Libya, last month.Credit: Khaled Al-Zaidy/Handout via REUTERS
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Haaretz

A Libyan court on Thursday granted an appeal by Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, son of Libya's late dictator, against his disqualification from this month's presidential election, local media reported.

The appeals court in the city of Sebha has confirmed that Gadhafi – whose candidacy was initially rejected on the basis of his conviction in absentia in 2015 for war crimes committed during the fighting that ousted his father in 2011 – can run in the upcoming election.

Al Arabiya news channel reported that Gadhafi's supporters were demonstrating outside the court throughout the day. His lawyer was quoted by the network as saying Thursday's decision was "a victory for justice and for the will of the people."

Last week, Gadhafi's lawyer Khaled al-Zaidi said he had been blocked from entering the court by armed men while attempting to lodge his client's appeal against his election disqualification.

The building, in the southern city of Sebha, is one of only three registration centers.

The Justice Ministry in Tripoli said in a statement on its social media pages that an armed group had forced everyone to leave the court building.

Sebha is under the control of a group allied to the eastern-based Libyan National Army force commanded by Khalifa Haftar, another of the main candidates in the election.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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