The last amateur video of Gaddafi’s son Mutassim, who was captured together with his father, shows him alive in custody, and even casually smoking a cigarette. However, other images show him dead with gunshot wounds to his neck and abdomen.
The photos and videos released depict the arrested Mutassim sitting against a wall, drinking water, smoking and even speaking to his captors. He is apparently injured as his vest is stained with blood but his life does not seem in danger. He is also pictured lying on a sofa.
In other images, however, Gaddafi’s loyal son is shown sprawled out on the floor, completely lifeless with shots visible in his neck and abdomen. The circumstances of his death remain unclear.
NTC information officer Mahmoud Shammam said: “Mutassim is dead. I can confirm it.”
NTC fighters captured Mutassim and his father while they were hiding in a drainage hole under a road on the outskirts of Sirte, Gaddafi’s stronghold and hometown. Their convoy, which was fleeing the town, was struck by NATO fighter jets and overrun by the revolutionaries.
According to a 2009 US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks and published by The Telegraph, Mutassim reportedly had “turbid relations” with his father in 1990 and had to spend some time in Egypt. In 2006 he returned to Libya to serve as Libya's National Security Advisor – a position created especially for him.
In April, 2009, he met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington, the highest-level diplomatic exchange between Libya and the United States since they resumed diplomatic ties several years earlier.
Unlike his Western-educated elder brother Saif al-Islam, Mutassim Gaddafi enjoyed “support from more conservative elements drawn to his efforts to bolster Libya's military and security posture,” the cable says.
“Ambitious and competitive, Mutassim realizes that he is being groomed as a potential successor to his father and that Saif al-Islam is his primary competitor,” the cable goes on.
According to the cable he was also described as a “playboy” and as “not intellectually curious.”
As Muammar Gaddafi and Mutassim, one of his heirs apparent, are dead and another possible successor, Saif al-Islam, has been arrested, pro-Gaddafi forces are apparently left without any significant figure to lead the fight against the NTC forces.