By Ashraf Abdul Wahab
Tripoli 2 October 2013:
Naji Mukhtar, the controversial head of the GNC Energy Committee has been referred to the . . .[restrict]Attorney-General by Congress investigators over allegations that he had tried to give a LD 30 million bribe to the leader of the striking Petroleum Facilities Guards, to call off the action. The news was given yesterday by GNC spokesman Omar Hmaidan.
The accusation against Mukhtar was made by PFD commander Ibrahim Jadhran, whose men continue to block Libya’s eastern oil terminals, preventing exports from them.
Nine days ago, president of Congress, Nuri Abu Sahmain, set up an internal Congressional investigation into allegation. That committee’s findings have now been forwarded to the Attorney-General.
Though Mukhtar remains chairman of the Energy Committee, the Sebha congressman has been removed from any role in dealing with the oil crisis.
As soon as they were made, Mukhtar went on television to deny Jadhran’s bribery allegations. However he did admit that he had given Jadhran’s brother Salem, a number of cheques, including one for LD 2.5 million which was supposedly cashed.
He claimed that he had written the cheques because Salem Jadhran, whom he described as “a field commander with the oil ports protesters” had asked for them when he had gone to stay with him. They could not be considered bribery, Mukhtar insisted, because there were insufficient funds to honour them. They were simply “a guarantee”, he claimed, “not bribes”.
Hmaidan also said yesterday that that GNC’s Crisis Management Committee (CMC) was making progress in talks to reopen the eastern terminals and oil fields. Congress had voted to extend the CMC’s mandate by a further fortnight. [/restrict]