By Moutaz Ali.
Tripoli, 13 June 2017:
The man who freed Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi, Ajmi Al-Atiri, has complained at the decision by Libyan National Army (LNA) western commander Colonel Idris Madi to disband the Abubakr Al-Saddiq brigade and incorporate its members into other units in the western region.
He said he had freed Saif to ensure Libya’s unity and that of the tribes, and that he was proud of what he had done.
He also said that the brigade should have been retained because it was the only effective one in Zintan and that it would have been better to dismiss him as its commander instead. However, he also explained he was a soldier and, as such, had to obey orders.
Madi announced that he was dissolving the brigade yesterday.
The decision was widely seen as an angry response to Atiri’s decision to release Saif Al-Islam.
However, Madi has now said that the disbandment had nothing to do with the freeing of Saif. Expressing his “full confidence” in Atiri, his patriotism and “his commitment as a military officer to carry out the orders”, he said that the reorganisation of LNA force in the west of the country had been planned over the past few months, and that the Abubakr Al-Saddiq brigade was part of that reorganisation.
Meanwhile, State Council member Amna Emtair has claimed that Saif’s release was ordered by the LNA to divert attention from what she claimed was the arrival of Egyptian forces in the country.
Describing the release as a “major crime given that Saif should ahev been handed over to the Attorney General or the International Criminal Court, Emtair, a member of the Justice and Construction Party, accused Zintan military and municipal councils of complicity in it. She called for those involved to be prosecuted.