Tripoli, 3 January:
The head of Malta-based private aviation company Medavia and one of his main managers, held in custody in Zawia . . .[restrict]for over two weeks, have been released, it was announced today.
Managing Director Abdulrazagh Zmirli and general technical manager Abdalla Dekna had been accused of having helped the Qaddafi regime during the revolution. They were seized by the SSC on 18 December at Tripoli airport just before they were due to fly back to Malta
A statement today by the company, a Libyan-Maltese joint venture, confirmed that the two had been freed. It thanked the “numerous people and entities who called to enquire about the situation and wellbeing” of Zmirli, who is also a Maltese citizen, and Dekna.
Maltese government pressure is also reported to have played its part in the men’s freedom.
They had been held for questioning in Zawia where it is reported that a Qaddafi-era law allowing people to be detained for up to 45 days was used to keep them in custody.
Although accused of supporting Qaddafi, Zmirli is seen as something of a hero in Malta for helping the Red Cross relief efforts in Libya during the revolution and getting injured Libyans flown out for treatment abroad.
A former non-executive director of Corinthia Hotels and of Mediterranean Investment Holdings, he is also a trustee of the Malta’s Islamic school. [/restrict]