There remains a degree of uncertainty over when and where Saif al-Islam Qadhafi, the second son of the former Libyan leader, will stand trial. On 23 August, Taha Nasser Baara, a spokesman for the prosecution in the case against Saif stated that he would stand trial in September in Zintan. The following day, national assembly leader Mohammed Magarief dismissed the report that Saif’s trial would begin in September. To further confuse the situation, on 25 August the Minister of Justice in an interview with the Libya Herald claimed that the trial would begin next month, but could not clarify the location. Despite continued calls by the central government for Saif to stand trial in Tripoli, Zintan based militias have repeatedly stated that the trial will be held in Zintan. It is likely that if Saif is tried in Libya, he would almost certainly be found guilty and executed. Qadhafi loyalists have warned that they would exact revenge should Saif be killed. Saif himself has stated that he wishes to be tried at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
Libya’s official news agency reported that 14,000 Zintanis voted in 53 voting centers on 23 August in the al-Zintan Local Council elections. A total of 35,000 out of 75,000 registered voters were reported to have participated. Abdul Monem Mohammed Al Sari received the most votes, with 3,894. The report did not specify how many candidates ran in the elections.
Tripolitania and Tripoli
The Libya Herald reported that clashes broke out in Tarhuna 60km southeast ofTripoli late on 21 August, between the city’s High Security Committee (HSC) and a number of individuals wanted in connection with the 19 August bombings in Tripoli. The clashes occurred in Tarhuna’s Souq Al Ahad area. According to other reports HSC and National Army elements were initially repelled from the area by intense gunfire, which resulted in a blockade of the market area, until local elders negotiated the surrender of the individuals. A separate report claimed that the clashes had left one security member dead and eight others wounded, with six individuals arrested and a number of heavy weapons seized. At a subsequent news conference, Ministry of Interior spokesman Abdul Monem Al Hur claimed that approximately 100 tanks and 26 missile launchers were seized from barracks belonging to a pro-Qadhafi militia in Tarhuna’s Souq Al Ahad area. According to the report the militia members were posing as Libyan rebels under the Katibat Al Awfiya, Brigade of the Faithful, the same brigade that stormed Tripoli International Airport on 4 June.
The Libyan satellite channel Libya Al Hurra reported on its website that armed gunmen ransacked a store belonging to electricity workers on 21 August in Bir Ayyad, around 120 km southwest of Tripoli in the Jebel Nafusa. According to the Libyan Ministry of Electricity, up to 50 Libyan engineers have died and 200 wounded across the country since the end of hostilities.