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Libya
Thursday, January 27, 2022

Libya’s Minister of Culture Arrested on Corruption Charges

On Wednesday, Libya’s Attorney General, Al-Siddiq Al-Sour ordered the detainment of the Minister of Culture, Mabrouka Touki on allegations of corruption.

This comes a week after Libya’s Education Minister, Moussa Al-Megarief was also arrested, as part of an inquiry into a lack of schoolbooks.

In a statement, Al-Sour announced that Touki would be jailed for four days on charges of “falsifying official documents in order to complicate the processes of review and oversight of public spending.”

She also faces charges related to a contract for maintenance works on ministry buildings, which had already been refurbished last year.

Touki, an academic with a degree in nuclear physics was appointed in March, as part of the country’s interim Government of National Unity (GNU). The prosecution service said it was investigating possible “negligence” in the case.

The elections are part of a roadmap adopted by the UN-sponsored Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF), in order to restore stability in Libya following years of political division and insecurity.

The vote, after a year of relative calm, was to have been Libya’s first-ever direct Presidential ballot. Months of disputes finally saw the vote postponed just two days before it was due to take place, when the committee overseeing the election declared holding it “impossible” on the scheduled date.

The High National Elections Commission (HNEC) has yet to announce a finalised list of candidates for the Presidential poll. Its work was hobbled by court cases against the bids of several divisive figures, seen as unacceptable to one section or another of Libyan society.

A looming political vacuum is another threat, with some lawmakers arguing that the mandate of the interim government ended on 24 December.

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