Ousted Libya PM escapes to Europe despite travel ban

Published March 12th, 2014 - 08:51 GMT
Libya's former Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was reportedly in Malta late Tuesday despite a government ban on his travel during his corruption investigation (File Archive/AFP)
Libya's former Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was reportedly in Malta late Tuesday despite a government ban on his travel during his corruption investigation (File Archive/AFP)

Former Libyan prime minister Ali Zeidan was in Malta for two hours late on Tuesday on a refueling stop before going to "another European country," Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told state-owned television TVM on Wednesday.

Muscat said he spoke briefly to Zeidan.

His travel comes despite the state prosecuter banning Zaidan from traveling abroad while he is under investigation.

Zeidan, who earlier on Tuesday lost a confidence vote in parliament, will be investigated for alleged financial corruption and other irregularities, Abdel Qader Radwan told Reuters and Libya’s al-Ahrar television. 

Zeidan was replaced temporarily by defense minister Abdallah Al Thinni. Parliament head Nuri Ali Abu Sahmain said the assembly will support Thinni and will not obstruct his work.

Deputies scheduled the vote after rebels in eastern Libya said a tanker loaded with oil from a port under their control escaped the navy and moved into international waters.

“The situation in the country has become unacceptable. Even those MPs who used to support the prime minister no longer have any alternative,” MP Suad Gannur told Agence France Presse prior to the vote.

Zeidan’s government has been repeatedly criticized for its failure to rein in the myriad of former rebel militias which have carved out their own fiefdoms since the NATO-backed uprising that ended the 42-year dictatorship of Moammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Zeidan, an independent elected with the support of liberals, has been the target of previous no-confidence motions in the General National Congress but they have never achieved the statutory quorum of 120 of its 194 members.

The former premier accuses his Islamist opponents of seeking to oust him solely to replace him with their own candidate.


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