GNA Officials Arrested on Charge of ‘Looting Public Funds’

A general view of a Misrata power plant during the long-lasting power blackouts, in Misrata, Libya July 14, 2020. REUTERS/Ayman Al-Sahili
A general view of a Misrata power plant during the long-lasting power blackouts, in Misrata, Libya July 14, 2020. REUTERS/Ayman Al-Sahili
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GNA Officials Arrested on Charge of ‘Looting Public Funds’

A general view of a Misrata power plant during the long-lasting power blackouts, in Misrata, Libya July 14, 2020. REUTERS/Ayman Al-Sahili
A general view of a Misrata power plant during the long-lasting power blackouts, in Misrata, Libya July 14, 2020. REUTERS/Ayman Al-Sahili

The public prosecutor in Libya has expanded investigation in crimes of ‘looting public funds’ to cover more officials and leaders from state institutions. He issued an order to refer several employees in the Ministry of Local Government and the General Electricity Company of Libya for trial on the charge of malfeasance in office.

The Mayor of Janzour Municipality, Faraj Aban, was among the officials to be questioned. However, several representatives of the civil community in the municipality expressed solidarity with Aban.

The municipal council defended itself saying that arresting the mayor is to clear his position on power cuts and load shedding.

The Investigation Department of the Office of Public Prosecution announced that a number of officials accused of obstructing the fair electric load-shedding have been brought to the Bab Bin Ghashir Court for trial.

The Office of the Public Prosecutor stated that the officials are all accused of abuse of power and resorting to intimidation to obstruct work.

In another context, the European Council on Thursday sanctioned senior aides to Russian President Vladimir Putin, including the man known as his chef, over the poisoning of opposition figure Alexei Navalny and the Kremlin meddling in Libya's civil war.

The EU said Yevgeny Prigozhin, nicknamed "Putin's chef" because his company has done catering for the Kremlin, was undermining peace in Libya by supporting the Russian-based Wagner Group, a private military company.

Prigozhin, a wealthy tycoon close to Putin, is already under US sanctions over his links to the Wagner mercenary outfit, which has been accused of interfering in various conflicts around Africa.

In its official listing, the EU said Prigozhin had "close links, including financially, to the private military company Wagner Group."

"In this way, Prigozhin is engaged in providing support for the Wagner Group's activities in Libya, which threaten the country's peace, stability, and security."

The EU said the group had committed "multiple and repeated breaches" of a UN arms embargo on Libya, where Russia has backed Gen. Khalifa Haftar in his uprising against the internationally recognized government.

The listing means Prigozhin is banned from traveling to the EU and any assets he holds in the bloc will be frozen. EU citizens and companies are also barred from supplying him with funds.

The same penalties apply to the six listed over the Navalny poisoning, who include FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov, as well as Sergey Kirienko and Andrei Yarin – both senior members of Putin's presidential executive office.



Lebanon: Israeli Strike in Tyr Kills Two Women, Injures 19

Border fence between Lebanon and Israel (AFP)
Border fence between Lebanon and Israel (AFP)
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Lebanon: Israeli Strike in Tyr Kills Two Women, Injures 19

Border fence between Lebanon and Israel (AFP)
Border fence between Lebanon and Israel (AFP)

In the early hours of Friday, an Israeli strike on a building east of the port city of Tyr left two civilian women dead and more than a dozen wounded, many of them children, according to two Lebanese security sources.
Asked about the incident, the Israeli military said it was looking into it.
Lebanon’s An-Nahar newspaper named the victims, noting that one of the women was a paramedic of Al Risala Association for Health Care.
"Israeli media said the strike was an assassination mission", the newspaper quoted sources close to Hezbollah as saying.
The victims and the injured were civilians, added the sources, noting that rescue operations continue to pull survivors from under the rubble.
Hezbollah said in a statement earlier that it had fired volleys of Katyusha and Falaq rockets at six Israeli military locations. Its Al-Manar television reported more than 100 rockets fired at once.