Libyan authorities have released Saadi Gaddafi, a son of the longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi who was toppled and killed during the 2011 uprising in Libya.

The spokesman for the Government of National Unity (GNU), Mohamed Hammouda, said Sunday that Saadi Gaddafi was set free upon an order from the Public Prosecutor Office.

Saadi Gaddafi fled for Niger during the 2011 uprising but was extradited to Libya in 2014 and has been imprisoned ever since in Tripoli.

The 47-year-old faced charges for committing crimes against protesters in 2011. He was also accused of killing Libyan football coach Bashir al-Rayani in 2005, before he was acquitted of al-Rayani’s murder in April 2018.

The GNU's spokesman insisted that the release of Saadi was based on Prime Minister Dabaiba's assertion that no prisoner can be detained outside the law, and reconciliation can only be achieved through the establishment of justice and compliance with judicial rulings.

However, Reuters said that it had learned from an official source that Saadi Gaddafi’s release resulted from negotiations that included senior tribal figures and Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, while another source told the agency the negotiations also involved former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha.

Al-Saadi Gaddafi departed upon his release to Turkey but is likely to settle in Egypt, where his mother is residing at the present time.