NIAMEY - Niger on Saturday denied reports it had agreed to allow Saadi Gaddafi, one of the sons of the late Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi, to leave the West African country where he has been under house arrest after fleeing Libya last year.

His lawyer, Nick Kaufman, had earlier told France 24 television that Niger had agreed to let his client leave the country and that he had lodged a number of asylum claims with other countries.

The 39-year-old businessman and former professional footballer is not wanted by the International Criminal Court but is wanted by Libya which wants to try him for allegedly misappropriating properties via force and for alleged armed intimidation when he headed the Libyan Football Federation.

Kaufman, his lawyer, had told France 24 that it was "no secret" that Niger had agreed to allow Gaddafi to leave. Without citing sources, the channel said South Africa was one of the countries considering his application. But Marou Amadou, a spokesman for the Niger government, told Reuters by phone on Saturday that no decision to allow Gaddafi to leave had been taken.

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