By Ashraf Abdul Wahab.
Tripoli, 18 February 2014:
A military police source has been sharply critical of the GNC’s statements on Major General . . .[restrict]Khalifa Hafter, who has been accused to trying to mount a coup.
The officer, speaking to the Libya Herald on condition of anonymity, refuted claims by the GNC that the intelligence services had located Hafter. The general, he said, was in his hometown of Ajdabiya, with his tribe, family and supporters.
“It is unlikely that Hafter will be arrested there” said the source, adding that it was up to the military prosecutor to investigate the general and any other officers implicated in any coup.
“”We are the only people authorised to arrest army officers and we have not arrested anyone of of any rank in relation to this matter. We may have sent out some summonses, but we have not arrested any official belonging to any Libyan army unit”.
The military police source went on to suggest that the GNC’s assertion that Hafter had been traced using the intelligence services was a “publicity campaign” designed to absorb public anger. This, in his view, had backfired because it had increased public dissatisfaction, not least with the GNC itself.
Osama Juwaily, the former Libyan Defence Minister declined to speculate about Hafter’s whereabouts. However, he did say that he felt very sorry about the way in which the general had chosen to end his career.
“He emerged as a star during the liberation war,” said Juwaily, “where he was on the front lines in the face of Qaddafi brigades. He was not supposed to drag himself into political disputes”. [/restrict]