By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 21 December 2013:
Haitham Tajouri, former military commander of the Support Unit of the Supreme Security Committee (SSC) . . .[restrict]- was today turned back from Brussels because of visa issues.
Tajouri was travelling on a Schengen visa, which permits travel to a group of 26 European countries, when he landed in Belgium. He was detained at the airport because his Schengen visa had been issued by Poland, which meant this had to the first European country he entered, the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
The incident provoked much speculation on the internet, with claims quickly circulating on social media networks that Tajouri had been arrested and was being taken to the US for questioning. These were taken up by some local news sources, forcing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deny that he had been abducted by American Intelligence over supposed investigations into armed groups in Libya.
The deputy of political affairs at the Ministry, Wafa Bugaigis, told the Libya Herald that reports by different media sources were incorrect. She also stressed that both the Ministry and the charge d’affaires from the Libyan embassy in Brussels had been in constant contact with Tajouri while he was held. Head of the SSC Hashim Bishr confirmed that he was held for five hours.
Tajouri, who recently stood down from his SSC post to join the police, was kidnapped just six days ago and held overnight in Zintan. The incident was described by Bishr as a “misunderstanding.”
It is understood that Tajouri returned to Libya this evening. [/restrict]