Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of the Libyan leader who is battling a rebellion, claimed “we didn’t commit any crime against our people”.
The 38-year-old Saif Gaddafi said in an hour-long interview with The Washington Post in Tripoli that evidence of Libyan forces firing on anti-government demonstrators is false, likening it to reports of pre-war Iraq hiding weapons of mass destruction.
“It’s exactly like the WMD,” he said. “WMD, WMD, WMD, go and attack Iraq. Civilians, civilians, civilians, go and attack Libya. It’s the same thing.”
NATO is currently enforcing a United Nations-approved no-fly zone designed to protect Libyan civilians. Western allies have called for the end of Gaddafi’s four-decade rule.
Saif Gaddafi, speaking in fluent English, said he had brought many reformers into the Libyan government. But several of them have defected to the rebellion and have leading roles with the Transitional National Council.
He said the rebellion is besieged by al-Qaeda, and dismissed claims by the United Nations, doctors, foreign journalists and others that civilians were targeted and killed in Misrata.
“I am not going to accept it, that the Libyan army killed civilians. This didn’t happen. It will never happen.”
He said the the US should help Libya fight al-Qaeda and that after “terrorists” are removed from Misrata and the rebel stronghold of Benghazi that his father’s role would be reduced under a new constitution.
“The biggest issue is the terrorists and the armed militia,” he said. “Once we get rid of them, everything will be solved.” Agencies