By Mick Krever, CNN
The extradition of Saadi Gadhafi, son of former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, back to Libya from Niger may not have been proper, suggested a lawyer who has formerly represented him.
“I’m not even sure that he was extradited,” Nick Kaufman told CNN’s Hala Gorani, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour, from Jerusalem.
“Extradition suggests that this was a legal process where Saadi Gadhafi was accorded a lawyer, a court hearing, and…it’s not even clear to me that that even took place.”
Saadi Gadhafi fled Libya more than two years ago, after his father’s death in the uprising that ousted him from power.
He had been living in Niger ever since.
“I’m quite surprised at the authorities in Niger,” Kaufman said. “They know who I am. They know that I was formerly representing Saadi. They know how to contact me.”
“They could have easily contacted me and told me of their intentions. So I’m not so sure that a proper extradition process in fact took place here.”
Living in Niger, Kaufman told Gorani, has taken a toll on the son for the former Libyan dictator.
“Saadi’s stay in Niger has been particularly hard for him,” Kaufman said. “He’s been under total house arrest for the last three years.”
Saadi was a businessman and professional football player before the Libyan revolution, and is not wanted by the International Criminal Court, unlike his brother, Saif.
Kaufman did say that an Interpol red notice, alerting countries that Saadi Gadhafi was “wanted for certain crimes” was issued for him three years ago.
A photo posted to Facebook showed Saadi being shaved of his hair and beard. Kaufman called it a “humiliating experience, having his head shaved in front of the whole world.”
“I also take into account the fact that he’s witnessed the brutal murder of his own father on television, as did the whole world,” he said.
In a statement provded to CNN, Libyan Justice Minister Salah al-Marghani said that Saadi Gadhafi was extradited at the request of the Libyan attorney general “and the approval of the authorities in Niger.”
“He is in Libya to face trial,” al-Marghani said, “and that trial should be in accordance with international standards of a fair trial. Any person is innocent unless otherwise proven guilty."
Gorani asked Kaufman if he would represent Saadi Gadhafi again.
“You have those who suffered under the Gadhafis’ rule who would say, ‘Well, he doesn’t deserve our sympathy.’ I’m sure you’ve heard that before. The question, though, having represented him in the past, is would you represent him again if asked?
“If he were to ask me, and the Libyan authorities would ensure my own personal safety, and Saadi Gadhafi’s own personal safety, then I would certainly consider the proposition, yes.”