But after the Libyan government was accused of ordering the attacks that led to the deaths of scores of civilians, the International Criminal Court set its sights on Saif, who it called the "de facto" prime minister of Libya.
"Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, although not having an official position, is Moammar Gadhafi's unspoken successor and the most influential person within his inner circle," the ICC said in the warrant for Saif's arrest issued in June.
The court inferred by his proximity to Moammar that Saif "conceived and orchestrated a plan to deter and quell, by all means [including lethal action], the civilian demonstrations against Gadhafi's regime."
In addition to Saif al-Islam, his brothers Saadi and Mohammed Gadhafi have also reportedly been arrested, but officials are unsure where Gadhafi, as well as his other children, may be hiding. Mohammed Gadhafi later escaped custody when he was "hijacked" by pro-Gadhafi forces, TNC representative to the U.S. Ali Suleiman Aujali told ABC News.