By Ashraf Abdul-Wahab.
Tripoli, 22 March 2014:
The former acting Chief of Staff, Major-General Salem Al-Gnaidy, was arrested today, . . .[restrict]accused of talking to the media and attending illegal political gatherings, both without authorisation.
Gnaidy was Chief of Staff from early June last year, when Major-General Yousef Mangoush resigned, until Major-General Abdulsalam Jadallah Al-Obeidi was appointed in August. Prior to his appointment, he was deputy Chief of Staff.
A relative of Gnaidy has been quoted as saying that forces from the Ministry of Defence stormed his house in Zawia, shooting at it, and then took him and his eldest son away.
The arrest promoted angry protests in Zawia, forcing the authorities to make alternative arrangements to move to Tripoli the crew of the oil tanker Morning Glory which arrived in Zawia today.
Gnaidy was released this evening.
Earlier, a military police official said that Gnaidy was being questioned at a military police facility and that there were several charges against him, including speaking to the media without prior permission from the Ministry of Defence and attacking members of the General National Congress and the Libyan government. These were criminal offences, he said.
Yesterday, Air Force Brigadier-General Ahmed Habib Al-Mismari, was sacked over his public backing for controversial Major-General Khalifa Hafter and is being similarly investigated along with the former commander of Benina Airbase, Saad Faraj Al-Warfali, by the Military Prosecutor for talking to the media and illegal political activities. [/restrict]