TRIPOLI - "We have no knowledge about any bid to strip the prime minister of his impunity or any arrest warrant for him," the statement said.
TRIPOLI – “We have no knowledge about any bid to strip the prime minister of his impunity or any arrest warrant for him,” the statement said.
The Libyan government on Thursday denied any knowledge of a warrant for the arrest of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan who was detained earlier in the day by a militia controlled by former revolutionaries on allegations of corruption and bribery.
In a statement posted on its official website, the government said Zeidan has been “kidnapped” and taken to an unidentified location.
“We have no knowledge about any bid to strip the prime minister of his impunity or any arrest warrant for him,” it added.
Earlier in the day, sources with the self-styled Libya Revolutionaries Control Room told Anadolu Agency they seized the prime minister early Thursday from outside the Corinthia hotel in the capital Tripoli, where he stays.
The sources have neither revealed where the prime minister was being detained, nor the nature of the alleged corruption and bribery charges.
The Libyan Prosecutor-General office, meanwhile, told AA no arrest warrant had been issued against Zeidan.
However, the detention is believed to be linked to an ongoing controversy over payments to armed groups to reopen key oil ports.
Naji Mokhtar, the head of parliament’s energy committee, has reportedly paid 2.5 million dinars ($2 million) to a militia group which has closed major ports in eastern Libya since August 17.
Mokhtar later told a parliamentary inquiry that Zeidan was aware of the payment.
Local observers also point out to an old rivalry between the Libya Revolutionaries Control Room and Zeidan over the latter’s accusations against former revolutionaries who are still holding on to their weapons out of the state’s control of being ‘militias’.
Libya’s parliament in July entrusted the Libya Revolutionaries Control Room with securing the capital Tripoli and allocated 900 million dinars ($ 7.6 million) for the group’s budget.
The developments also came a few days after US commandos seized senior Al-Qaeda suspect Anas al-Liby in Libya. Zeidan has been under pressures to declare whether it sanctioned the operation.
Libyans have been struggling to bring order to their control since ousting long-serving strongman Muammar Gaddafi two years ago.