Mussa Ibrahim, whose arrest was reported on Saturday by the authorities in Libya, was the high-profile public face of the Moamer Kadhafi regime as it battled the revolution that later brought it down.
A statement from the prime minister's office said Ibrahim was arrested at a checkpoint in the town of Tarhuna, after rumours that he had been detained spread on social networking sites.
The 38-year-old was Kadhafi's spokesman in 2011, and the snappy dresser with a thin goatee beard gained widespread recognition for his televised pronouncements defending Kadhafi that were broadcast worldwide.
Ibrahim -- a fluent English speaker who studied in Britain and also lived there -- was captured on the first anniversary of the death in Sirte of his former master. He is a member of the dictator's Gaddadfa tribe.
He became regime spokesman at the beginning of March last year, after the revolt erupted in the eastern city of Benghazi the previous month.
Ibrahim held court at the Rixos Hotel in the Libyan capital, home to the international press corps for the conflict until rebel forces entered Tripoli in August.
He was last seen on August 17 at the hotel before going to ground.
Rumours said he had fled for Britain, accompanied by his German wife and their baby son, who was less than a year old.
While he acted as spokesman for the regime, Ibrahim relayed a constant stream of propaganda.
He thought nothing of waking journalists in the middle of the night to deny information, banal or otherwise, put out by Western or Arab media.
In March, he denied the regime was involved in acts of violence and asserted that the rebels were being manipulated by the extremist network Al-Qaeda.
He was also tasked with managing the presence in the capital of foreign journalists.
According to documents found by reporters at the Rixos following the fall of Tripoli on August 20 last year, he was involved in eavesdropping electronically on their correspondence.
Ibrahim read political science at Exeter on the southwest coast of Britain, and later studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London.
He returned to Libya just months before the revolt began, tasked with modernising state media in their relaying of the thoughts of Kadhafi.
His wife stayed with him throughout his stay at the Rixos, where they took their meals in their room with the baby.
Ibrahim lost at least one brother in the conflict, fighting for the regime and tribe the family supported.
News of Ibrahim's arrest came hours after the authorities said Libya was still not fully liberated from Kadhafi's legacy and warned that loyalists continued to pose an active threat, particularly in Bani Walid, one of his final strongholds.© ANP/AFP