June 11 (UPI) -- Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, the son of the slain Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and the heir apparent until the ruler was deposed in 2011, was released from prison, according to militants who control the facility.
Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Battalion, a militia that controls Zintan, a mountainous region southwest of the capital Tripoli, said in a statement posted on Facebook he was freed Saturday and they were acting on a request from the "interim government" in east Libya.
Al Jazeera reported the deputy justice minister of the government affiliated with the Tobruk-based parliament visited him in the jail in Zintan and ordered his immediate release.
His lawyer, Khaled al-Zaidi, would not say where Saif al-Islam Gadhafi was located. A source has told the BBC he is in the Tobruk area of eastern Libya.
Saif al-Islam Gadhafi was sentenced to death by a court in Tripoli, in west Libya, which is controlled by the rival, United Nations-backed Government of National Accord. The self-declared National Salvation Government also is in the capital.
He also was being sought by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity during his father's unsuccessful attempts to end the rebellion.
Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, 44, was captured in November 2011 in Zintan after three months on the run after his father's 44-year rule. He had gone to Niger after opposition fighters seized Tripoli. Four years later, he was sentenced to death in absentia by firing squad after a trial that involved 30 of Moammar Gadhafi's close associates. He was in the Zintan prison during the trial and appeared via video link.
Saif al-Islam Gadhafi was the second son of Moammar Gadhafi, who had nine children. His father and younger brother were killed in October 2011.