By Libya Herald staff.
Benghazi, 9 May 2015:
Ezzeddine Al-Wakwak Al-Barghathi, the head of the militia that controlled Benina airport, has been released . . .[restrict]after being detained for three weeks following allegations that he had been involved in a number of assassinations in Benghazi.
They were made by men caught in Benghazi who apparently admitted their role in several killings. They are reported to have specifically alleged that Al-Barghathi, invariably known as Wakwak, had ordered the killings of Colonel Ahmed Al-Barghathi and Captain Azmi Al-Barghathi. He was detained on 14 March after he had gone to the prosecutor’s office to answer questions about the allegations and was then taken to the Garnada military camp at Shahat.
Military police chief Ahmed Al-Barghathi was gunned down outside his home in Benghazi on 18 October 2013.
Azmi Al-Barghathi died in suspicious circumstances on 3rd June, 2014 in fighting at Sidi Faraj. At the time it was said that he had been killed in the fighting. However, there were allegations even then that he had been murdered.
Previously an air force officer, he had had joined Saiqa Special forces, and was in charge of protecting its base at Benina. He shot to fame across Libya in October 2013, when in a phone-in to Wissam Ben Hamid, the Islamist commander of Libya Shield No.1 brigade who was being interviewed live on Alaseema TV, he as well as Wakwak accused him of being behind Ahmed Al-Barghathi’s death. Azmi also called him a tyrant.
His release follows a meeting last Saturday at Benina of members of the Awakir tribe, the second largest in Cyrenaica, and its sub-tribe, the Barghatha, at which they demanded he be freed. In a statement, they said Waqwaq could not have killed either Ahmed Al-Barghathi or Azmi Al-Barghathi, to whom he was related (and after whom he named his youngest son, born after Azmi’s death).
The statement also contained a pledge not to attack members of the Abadla tribe – a reference to the fact that the person seen as directly responsible for Wakwak’s arrest and detetion is Lieutenant Faraj Al-Abdali, head of Benghazi’s anti-terrorism unit. He took the allegations about Waqwaq to the military prosecutor which led to his arrest and detention.
A declaration not to attack Abdali or members of his tribe is alleged to have been demanded by the prosecutor.
Wakwak himself has reportedly denied the accusations and is said to be sanguine about the whole matter. He is reported saying that he supports a state of law in Libya, a statement seen as implying that it was right for the prosecutor to investigate allegations. [/restrict]