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Saif is an acquaintance of Lord Mandelson and met the former Labour minister at a Corfu villa the week before it was announced that the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, would be released from a Scottish prison. The two men met again when they were guests at Lord Rothschild's mansion in Buckinghamshire.
Rothschild's son and heir, Nat, also a close friend of Mandelson, held a party in New York attended by Saif in 2008. Saif in turn invited Nat Rothschild to his 37th birthday party in Montenegro, where the financier is investing in a luxury resort.
Prince Andrew, too, has played host to Saif at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle and the two men have also met in Tripoli. Others whom Saif classes as good friends include Tony Blair and, bizarrely, the late Austrian far-right leader, Jörg Haider.
By Thursday he was on CNN promising that the violence in his country would make Libya "stronger, more united". Saif pledged: "Libya will have a better future as one united nation. [We will] not let a bunch of terrorists control our country and our future."
By Thursday he was on CNN promising that the violence in his country would make Libya "stronger, more united".