By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli/Cairo, 22 August 2017:
Abducted former prime minister Ali Zeidan was not arrested on the order of the attorney general, Presidency Council (PC) head Faiez Serraj has reportedly told a southern delegation that went to Tripoli to demand answers about the kidnapping.
Headed by former deputy local government minister Ali Saeed Nasr, who is from Brak Al-Shatti, the delegation met Serraj in Tripoli yesterday. Nasr subsequently said on social media that Serraj told them that not only had there been no arrest warrant but that he knew who the kidnappers were and was in contact with them. Serraj had added that he was deeply perturbed about the abduction and was working to secure Zeidan’s release.
It was reported when the abduction from Tripoli’s Victoria hotel took place nine days ago, that Zeidan had been arrested on the orders of the attorney general, allegedly by forces under the command of Haithem Tajouri.
A close member of the Zeidan’s family who asked not to be identified today confirmed to the Libya Herald that there was no arrest warrant from the attorney general.
He added that there had still been no contact with Zeidan. There had, however, been contact with Serraj who had promised to organise that the family could speak to the former prime minister. So far, the member noted, nothing had happened.
“We are now seriously concerned about his health,” he said. “He has health issues and is on medication, but we don’t know if he is taking it.”
He also repeated the allegations that Serraj had initially refused to meet the southern delegation on Sunday and only relented after his refusal was widely publicised. However, Nasr has said that Serraj told him that he had been unaware of the delegation but that as soon as he was told about it, he organised the meeting on Monday.
Zeidan’s family member has said that this in not true and insisted that Serraj was contacted directly about the delegation’s visit to Tripoli beforehand.
He also said that Zeidan went to the Victoria hotel off Shara Omar Mukhtar at Serraj’s insistance. He had been planning to stay at another hotel but Serraj had told him that there was better security at the Victoria and that the PC would pay for his accommodation.
In a separate move on Sunday, Jufra municipality described those who had taken Zeidan as outlaws and criminals. It demanded the authorities ensure his release and that of the two people with him.
Zeidan is from Hun which is within the municipality and, before becoming prime minister, was elected as Jufra’s member of the General National Congress.
It is claimed that he is currently being held at the Winzrik hotel on Shara Al-Shatt. It is said to be controlled by Haithem Tajouri.