A Gadhafi son is extradited to Libya

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FILE – In this undated file photo made available on Sunday Sept. 25, 2011, al-Saadi Gadhafi, son of the late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, watches a military exercise by the elite military unit commanded by his brother, Khamis, in Zlitan, Libya. Libya says Niger has extradited Moammar Gadhafi’s son al-Saadi, who fled as his father’s regime crumbled in 2011 and who was under house arrest in the desert West African nation ever since. A Libyan official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, says al-Saadi arrived early on Thursday March 6, 2014 at the Tripoli airport and was transferred to a prison in the capital. (AP Photo/Abdel Magid al-Fergany, File)

FILE – In this undated file photo made available on Sunday Sept. 25, 2011, al-Saadi Gadhafi, son of the late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, watches a military exercise by the elite military unit commanded by his brother, Khamis, in Zlitan, Libya. Libya says Niger has extradited Moammar Gadhafi’s son al-Saadi, who fled as his father’s regime crumbled in 2011 and who was under house arrest in the desert West African nation ever since. A Libyan official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, says al-Saadi arrived early on Thursday March 6, 2014 at the Tripoli airport and was transferred to a prison in the capital. (AP Photo/Abdel Magid al-Fergany, File)

FILE – In this Tuesday, July 3, 2001 file photo, Al-Saadi Gadhafi, son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, smiles during a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo. Libya says Niger has extradited Moammar Gadhafi’s son al-Saadi, who fled as his father’s regime crumbled in 2011 and who was under house arrest in the desert West African nation ever since. A Libyan official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, says al-Saadi arrived early on Thursday March 6, 2014 at the Tripoli airport and was transferred to a prison in the capital. (AP Photo/Tsugufumi Matsumoto, File)

FILE – In this Feb. 7, 2005 file photo, al-Saadi Gadhafi, the son of Moammar Gadhafi, answers a question during a press conference in Sydney, Australia. Libya says Niger has extradited Moammar Gadhafi’s son al-Saadi, who fled as his father’s regime crumbled in 2011 and who was under house arrest in the desert West African nation ever since. A Libyan official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, says al-Saadi arrived early on Thursday March 6, 2014 at the Tripoli airport and was transferred to a prison in the capital. (AP Photo/Dan Peled, File)

FILE – In this file Monday, Aug. 30, 1999 photo, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, right, honors al-Saadi Gadhafi, the son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, with the rank of colonel in the Jordanian army at Amman’s hilltop Raghadan Palace. Libya says Niger has extradited Moammar Gadhafi’s son al-Saadi, who fled as his father’s regime crumbled in 2011 and who was under house arrest in the desert West African nation ever since. A Libyan official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, says al-Saadi arrived early on Thursday March 6, 2014 at the Tripoli airport and was transferred to a prison in the capital. (AP Photo, File)

FILE – In this undated photo made available Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011, al-Saadi Gadhafi, centre, and Hannibal Gadhafi, right, sons of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, watch a military exercise by the elite military unit commanded by their brother, Khamis, in Zlitan – 90 miles (140 kilometers) southeast of Tripoli, Libya. Libya says Niger has extradited Moammar Gadhafi’s son al-Saadi, who fled as his father’s regime crumbled in 2011 and who was under house arrest in the desert West African nation ever since. A Libyan official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, says al-Saadi arrived early on Thursday March 6, 2014 at the Tripoli airport and was transferred to a prison in the capital. (AP Photo/Abdel Magid al-Fergany, File)

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TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — One of Moammar Gadhafi’s sons, al-Saadi, was extradited on Thursday to Libya from Niger, where he had taken refuge as his father’s regime crumbled in 2011, bringing cheers from Libyans as the government prepares to prosecute him for his alleged role in trying to suppress the uprising against Gadhafi’s rule.

Al-Saadi becomes the second son of the ousted and slain leader to be held in custody in Libya. His brother Seif al-Islam was captured in 2011 and has been held in a western mountain prison by a militia that is putting him on trial, refusing to hand him over to the central government for trial.

At the time of the revolt that brought down his father, al-Saadi headed a brigade of special forces that was involved in the crackdown against protesters and rebels. But he is perhaps even more notorious among Libyans for his dark career in soccer, the country’s most popular sport.

A playboy with a lavish lifestyle, al-Saadi treated the country’s soccer league as his personal fiefdom. He played for several Libyan teams — and for an Italian team until he failed a drug tests. At various times, he headed the country’s soccer federation and its national team.

In one case, security forces opened fire on fans in a 1996 match attended by al-Saadi killing a number of people in murky circumstances He is also suspected in the 2005 killing of Bashir al-Riyani, a popular Libyan soccer player who was a vocal critic of Gadhafi’s regime. Libyans say that rules were set that the only player’s name that could be announced was al-Saadi’s — while others were identified only by numbers.

Cars honked horns in celebration in the streets of the capital, Tripoli, when his extradition was announced early hours in the morning. In the evening, fireworks went off as people cheered and waved flags in the street, according to footage on Libya’s Al-Ahrar TV. A

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