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Seif al-Islam Qaddafi, he son of the former Libyan strongman Col. Muammar Qaddafi, once expected to succeed his father in control of the country, was taken by rebel fighters in the south of the country, Reuters reports.

The rebel fighters released a photograph of the captured Qaddafi with his fingers wrapped in thick bandages, wounds apparently incurred during his weeks on the lam from the forces that overthrew his father's government after more than 40 years, and captured and killed the elder Qaddafi last month.

The captors are trying to avoid an extrajudicial killing this time around, Reuters reported.

The Zintan fighters, who make up one of the powerful militia factions holding ultimate power in a country still without a government, said they planned to keep him in Zintan, until they could hand him over to the authorities.

Prime minister-designate Abdurrahim El-Keib is scheduled to form a government by Tuesday, and the fate of Saif al-Islam, whom Libyans want to try at home before, possibly, handing him over to The [International Criminal Court], will be an early test of its authority.

Muammar Gaddafi's beating, abuse and ultimate death in the custody of former rebel fighters was an embarrassment to the previous transitional government. Officials in Tripoli said they were determined to handle his son's case with more order.

That urge to avoid another brutal execution comes as war crimes investigators are headed into Libya to oversee the management of Seif al-Islam Qaddafi's incarceration, the Associated Press reported

Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo says that while national governments have the right to try their own citizens for war crimes, he is concerned that Gadhafi will have a fair trial and that he be tried for the same charges he faces at the ICC.

"The good news is that Seif al-Islam is arrested, he is alive, and now he will face justice," Ocampo said in an interview Saturday in The Hague.

Meanwhile, the long, chaotic denouement of the Libyan revolution is making it an even harder issue to grapple with for one group in particular: Republican politicians, who have to negotiate the line between celebrating the downfall of a corrupt and murderous regime and validating the foreign policy of the president they want to defeat. We have been here before, Spencer Ackerman argues: with the Democrats and Iraq in 2004.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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