On Wednesday, Libya’s Public Prosecution remanded a member of the Board of Directors of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), Abulgasem Shengheer, and two others in custody pending further investigations.
In a statement, the Prosecution announced that it is conducting investigations into Shengheer, the Director of the Occupational Safety, Security, and Health Department of Akakus Oil, and an employee in charge of the Administrative Affairs Unit, over charges of obtaining illegal benefits, causing serious harm to public money, and abusing power.
The detainees were also charged with falsifying documents for personal gain.
Last week, the NOC condemned the “unlawful” arrest of Shengheer, who was stopped at Tripoli’s Mitiga Airport while returning from abroad with his family.
“Shengheer was arrested in an arbitrary and inappropriate manner that does not rise to the level of responsibility in dealing with a public and national figure,” it said in a statement on Saturday.
“A systematic war is being waged by a coalition of militias, smugglers, corrupt figures or politicians, ideologies and stakeholders, against the NOC in order to blackmail, infiltrate, politicize and redirect it from the neutral position it has maintained over the past years for the benefit all Libyans,” the statement added.
The NOC called on the Presidential Council, the Government of National Unity (GNU), and Libya’s Attorney General to take all legal measures and release Shengheer.
It also called on the UN, Amnesty International, and human rights organizations to immediately intervene and secure his release. It stated that it would hold the kidnappers responsible for his safe return.
The Corporation noted “its deep concern about such repeated militia actions that follow the policy of arbitrary and unofficial arrest of public figures, which may have serious repercussions on the conduct of operations in the oil sector.”