Libya's interim government has called on Niger to extradite Muammar Gaddafi's third eldest son Saadi after he called on Libyans to prepare for a "coming uprising".
In a telephone interview with Al Arabiya television late on Friday, Saadi said that he was in regular contact with people in Libya who were unhappy with the authorities who took over the leadership in the country after the ousting of his father after 42 years of dictatorial rule, and the eventual capture and killing of his father.
National Transitional Council spokesman Mohammed al-Harizy said in a statement on behalf of the NTC, that following his comments, Libya's National Transitional Council is demanding that Niger, should extradite Saadi and those who are with him as soon as possible in order to maintain the relationship with the Libyan people." Niger is currently giving a safe haven to Saadi, who said he has the money to led an uprising in Libya.
Mr Harizy went on to say: "They (Niger authorities) should follow the Algerian government that prevented Gaddafi's daughter (Ayesha) from making statements or causing any trouble from their land." he said.
He added that NTC Chairman Mustafa Abdul-Jalil had called on Niger's President to discuss Saadi.
Mr Harizy said that the NTC confirms that there was not and there will not be any communication or negotiation with Saadi or anyone from the former regime.
"We assure the Libyan people that neither Saadi nor anyone else can raise the Gaddafi flag on Libyan soil ... Let Saadi know and whoever is standing behind him that the February 17 revolutionaries have not put down their weapons yet and they are ready to face any foolish attempt with force," he said.
In response, Niger pledged to tighten house surveillance of Saadi, but it reiterated that Saadi could not be handed over to a state where he could face execution.
Saadi, a former footballer, who analysts say did not even have the ability to lead a football team, let alone lead a “coup”, fled south to the West African state of Niger in September as Libyan rebels gained the upper hand over Gaddafi's forces.
In his televised interview, Saadi said he was in contact from Niger with the Libyan army, militias, the NTC and other members of the Gaddafi family.
The Libyan News Agency LANA said that Niger's foreign minister Bazoum Mohamed and his Libyan counterpart Ashour Bin Hayal had spoken by phone. It quoted Bin Hayal as saying that Saadi's comments "threaten the bilateral relationship between the two countries."
Authorities in Niger signalled that their position on any future extradition of Saadi had not changed, and government spokesman Marou Amadou told a news conference: "We will hand over Saadi Gaddafi to a government which has an independent and impartial justice system. But we cannot hand over someone to a place where he could face the death penalty or where he is not likely to have a trial worthy of the name."
At the same time, Amadou acknowledged that Saadi's comments violated a condition of his stay in Niger not to engage in subversion against the Libyan authorities, and pledged tighter surveillance of his residence in the capital Niamey.
"Measures have already been taken by the government so that this never happens again," he said.
It has been reported by Reuters, that about 30 protesters demonstrated outside Niger's embassy in Tripoli, with some spraying graffiti that read "Cut ties now" and "Close the embassy" on its walls.
Interpol last year issued a "red notice" requesting member states to arrest Saadi with a view to extradition if they find him on their territory. Niger has cited other reasons for not extraditing Saadi, including a United Nations travel ban on him.
It has pledged to comply with commitments to the Hague-based International Criminal Court, which has not indicted Saadi, who before the war was best known for his soccer obsession.
Meanwhile, in an interview broadcast by France 24 but recorded before Saadi's interview was aired, Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou said Niger would study any extradition request on strict legal merits.
"If we receive an official request we will study it. We are a state based on the rule of law. We will study that question according to our laws and our international commitments," Issoufou told France 24.
It is worth recalling that Algeria ordered members of Gaddafi's family in exile on its territory to stay out of politics, after Gaddafi's daughter Ayesha angered the Libyan government by telling the media her father was still fighting to hold onto power.