Commentary on the economic , geopolitical and simply fascinating things going on. Served occasionally with a side of snark.
Monday, April 14, 2014
Libya Updates - April 14 , 2014 -- Trial of Saif, Saadi and Qaddafi-era officials adjourned By Ashraf Abdul Wahab. Tripoli, 14 April 2014: The hearing of cases against Saif and Saadi Qaddafi, along with 35 senior former regime officials, was today adjourned after less than half an hour of proceedings......Tunisia will hand over 10 Qaddafi officials only after “due legal process” ........ BREAKING NEWS: Al-Thinni resigns after attack on family home - says " No Thanks " to a thankless job ! Petrol supply in west resumes as Zawia blockade ends
Trial of Saif, Saadi and Qaddafi-era officials
By Ashraf Abdul Wahab.
Tripoli, 14 April 2014:
The hearing of cases against Saif and Saadi Qaddafi, along with 35 senior former regime officials, was today adjourned after less than half an hour of proceedings.
The trial was suspended until 27 April on the grounds that only 23 of the 37 defendants were present.
The scene in court today was one of disorganisation and confusion, despite assurances from authorities beforehand that proceedings would go ahead unimpeded and with full transparency.
Saif, along with seven individuals held in Misrata, did not appear in the courtroom at Hadba Prison via video link as planned, although the specially-installed system was said to be working.
Saadi, who is being held at Hadba, also did not appear, apparently because investigations started when he was extradited from Niger last month had not been completed and charges not yet finalised. Another defendant was absent on medical grounds.
Ex-spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi, former prime minister Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi, and former foreign minister Abdul Ati Al-Obeid appeared briefly behind the meshed screen of the defendants’ box before being led away once proceedings were halted.
Outside the prison, many journalists, NGO workers and human rights observers were turned away.
Tunisia will hand over 10 Qaddafi officials only
after “due legal process”
By Houda Mzioudet.
Acting Interior Minister Saleh Mazegh (left) and Tunisian Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou (Photo: Ministry of the Interior)
Tripoli, 13 April 2013:
Reports that the ten senior Qaddafi officials wanted by Libya have been handed over by Tunisia appear premature. The Tunisian ambassador has told the Libya Herald that the ten, who have not been named, would be extradited only when legal formalities were complete.
So far there is no sign that has happened.
According to the Ministry of Interior website, Tunisia agreed the extradition of the ten during talks last Wednesday when Acting Interior Minister Saleh Mazegh and Tunisian Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou met in Tunis. They discussed both the presence of former regime officials in Tunisia and recent disruptions at the Ras Jedir border crossing.
According to the Tunisian radio station Radio Tataouine the two men agreed to a review of all security arrangements between Tunisia and Libya since the 1984.
They also agreed that a joint committee should be formed to manage problems and disputes at the Ras Jedir, which has been closed on frequent occasions, and the commissioning of a Supreme Joint Security Committee to combat terrorism, illegal immigration and smuggling between the two countries.
At the time, Jeddou said Tunisia would consider the extradition of individuals wanted by Libyan authorities, in particular ten former regime officials alleged to have been involved in recent instability on the border, but ultimately this decision would have to be made taken by the Tunisian President.
The Tunisian Ambassador to Libya, Ridha Boukadi, told this paper that extraditions of Qaddafi officials could only be achieved “through Interpol and official legal channels, with the guarantee that the right to due process would be protected”.
He said he the current weakness of the Libyan state and its institutions was troubling and added that he had last met with the acting Libyan Interior Minster in the aftermath of the abduction of the Tunisian diplomat Mohamed Ben Cheikh.
No GNC sitting today – committee meetings
focus on budget
Tripoli, 13 April 2014:
There was no General National Congress (GNC) sitting today, with Congress members instead attending committee meetings to discuss the budget.
The GNC granted the government an emergency budget of LD 2.5 billion last month to resolve current problems, particularly in regard to security issues faced by the country. The emergency budget was given as a loan from the 2014 budget, which has not yet been agreed upon by the GNC.
Tuesday’s GNC sitting is expected to focus on selecting a new Prime Minister, after the resignation of current government head Abdullah Al-Thinni today.
BREAKING NEWS: Al-Thinni resigns after
attack on family home
By Libya Herald staff.
By 13 April 2014:
Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni
Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni will resign as soon as the General National Congress (GNC) can choose a replacement, following an attack last night on his family home.
“My family and I suffered a brutal attack last night and shooting terrified local residents and put lives in danger,” Thinni said in a letter addressed to the GNC and published on the official Prime Ministry website. “I will not accept one drop of blood to be spilled because of me and I will not allow myself as Prime Minister to be a reason for Libyans fighting.”
Thinni said that, out of deep respect for Libya, he was not prepared to drag different sides into a fight that nobody could win. He said he wished the GNC luck with choosing the right person for the job and someone who would serve the interests of Libya.
Thinni will continue to act as Prime Minister until the GNC chooses a replacement, Prime Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Lameen told the Libya Herald.
A source close to the government said that last night’s attack terrorised Thinni’s neighbourhood, with shooting outside his house. His car was also reportedly stolen.
Petrol supply in west resumes as Zawia blockade
By Muttaz Ali and Callum Paton.
Tripoli, 13 April 1014:
The National Oil Corporation (NOC) has said the blockade at Zawia oil terminal which sparked fears of petrol shortages in Tripoli and many towns in the west of the country has ended and that normal supply are expected to resume shortly.
Spokesman for the NOC Mohammed Al-Harrari told the Libya Herald the blockade ended early this morning and that trucks carrying fuel were now moving unimpeded from Zawia. However, he added that the NOC was monitoring the changing situation on roads leading to the terminal.
In an earlier statement the NOC said fuel stockpiles in Misrata were being used to help ease the strain on supply after the blockade, which began on Friday, caused panic buying at the pumps.
Today in Tripoli drivers queued for hours outside those petrol stations which remained open before they could fill up. One driver, Mourad Ghariba, said he arrived at a petrol station in the Al-Hani area of the capital at 5 am and waited well into the afternoon before he was able to fill up his car.