Libya asks Interpol to arrest sacked PM Zeidan

Photo: Libya asks Interpol to arrest sacked PM Zeidan  / Arab World

Prosecutor-General Abdel-Qadir Radwan on Wednesday asked Interpol to issue an arrest warrant for former prime minister Ali Zeidan who left Libya late Tuesday World Bulletin reported.

"Zeidan left the country even though he knew about the travel ban," Al-Seddiq al-Sewar, spokesman for the prosecutor-general and head of Libya's Investigations Office, said.

Al-Sewar did not say whether the prosecutor-general had received a reply from Interpol regarding his request.

If arrested, Zeidan could face a wide range of charges, including the squandering of public funds and the fabrication and destruction of official state documents, according to a Libyan government report.

Anadolu Agency could not obtain comments from either Zeidan or any of his close associates regarding the charges.

Zeidan departed Libya aboard a private plane, along with former deputy prime minister Al-Seddig Abdel-Karim, according to airport sources.

The Maltese press quoted Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat as saying that Zeidan's plane had landed in Malta for two hours to refuel before continuing to a destination in mainland Europe.

According to some media reports, Zeidan travelled to Germany where he used to live before assuming his government post in Libya. This has not, however, been confirmed by Libyan authorities.

Al-Sewar said the prosecutor-general had decided to ban Zeidan from travel after receiving information that Zeidan planned to leave the country before being interrogated.

On Tuesday, Libya's interim parliament dismissed Zeidan and tasked Defense Minister Abdullah al-Thinni with running the government for a 15-day period until a new government could be drawn up.

Libya gives rebels 2 weeks to abdicate port control

Libya's interim parliament on Wednesday offered rebels controlling Libya's eastern ports a two-week deadline to end their seizure, threatening to use military force to free the ports.

"The Libyan state will not allow control of the ports by a bunch of law-breakers who seek to create an illegal entity inside Libya," Nouri Abusahmain, Speaker of the National General Congress, told a press conference.

"The Libyan army has the right to use force to regain control over the ports," added Abusahmain, who is also the supreme commander of the Libyan armed forces.

Libya's lack of control over its eastern ports came to the forefront early this week when a North Korea-flagged oil tanker berthed at the Sidra port to load thousands of barrels of Libyan crude oil under an agreement with rebels controlling the northeastern Barqa region.

The Libyan government called on Barqa tribes controlling the port and the oilfields to abdicate their control for the state, but tribesmen say they have the right to exploit the wealth of their region.

Abusahmain said efforts aiming at resolving the crisis in a peaceful manner by tribal chieftains had failed.

He added that the two-week deadline will be the last chance for a peaceful settlement of the crisis.

However, caretaker Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni said in a separate press conference that his government refuses to use force to solve the problem of the ports.

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