Libya’s Health Minister Arrested on Corruption Charges

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Libya’s Attorney General’s Office ordered the detention of the Minister of Health, Ali Al-Zanati and the Undersecretary of the Ministry over “financial irregularities.”

They are alleged to have committed abuses related to the supply and installation of oxygen plants, at a price that is 1,000% higher than the market price.

On Tuesday, the office clarified that the investigation procedures ordered their pretrial detention pending the case.

Al-Zanati is the third minister to be investigated in recent weeks.

On 20 December, the Education Minister was detained as part of an investigation into corruption related to the delay in the supply of school textbooks in the country.

Recently, a member of Libya’s Supreme Court, Counselor Jumaa Abu Zaid said that the Attorney General should investigate the statements made by the Head of Libya’s High National Elections Commission’s (HNEC), Emad Al-Sayeh claiming that a Presidential candidate has submitted forged documents.

He added, during a briefing before Libya’s Parliament that, “we referred several appeals to the Attorney General to prove to the Libyan people that the commission is committed to the principle of holding fair and transparent elections.”

In late December, a preventive detention order was issued against the Minister of Culture. This is in connection with another investigation into corruption and misappropriation of public funds.

Libya was supposed to hold Presidential elections on 24 December, 2021 in a United Nations-led effort to end the decade-long crisis. The ballot was delayed indefinitely, after bitter arguments over divisive candidates and a disputed legal framework.

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 Libyan election declared holding it “impossible” on the scheduled date.