On the order of Libya’s Attorney General on Monday, the former Libyan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Al-Siddiq Abdel-Karim has been detained.
The Attorney General, Al-Siddiq Al-Sour confirmed that Abdel-Karim was arrested on charges of “seriously damaging public money” while serving in his former position.
Abdel-Karim is a physician and politician who served as First Deputy Prime Minister between 14 November 2012 and 29 August 2014.
In November, he submitted his candidacy papers for the Presidential elections to the High National Elections Commission (HNEC) in Tripoli.
He said in a speech after submitting his candidacy papers that he would “like to work with everyone in order to bring Libya to safety, and to benefit from the lessons of the past and the various cases that caused the crises. The Libyan people can only be brought together by a modern state based on citizenship and human rights,” explaining that “this cannot be achieved without national reconciliation that establishes a new stage.”
The office said in a statement that Kareem, who is also a presidential candidate, “signed contracts to provide needs that were of poor quality and with high prices, without the permission of the Audit Bureau.”
The contracts cost the country more than 1.257 billion Libyan dinars. Meanwhile, “the defendant provided assistance to one of his friends for the purpose of collecting public funds, violating the law and misusing the authority of the position,” the statement said, adding that his behaviour resulted in the loss of over 230 million dinars.
Few days earlier, the office released Minister of Culture Mabruka Othman, days after her arrest over financial corruption charges.
Libya’s long-awaited elections on 24 December were postponed indefinitely. HNEC proposed holding them on 24 January, a month from their scheduled date.
Political pundits warn that further postponement of the elections may drag the country into chaos again, and reignite war. The majority of the country remains under the control of armed militias, with varying interests.