Detained Italian Fishermen to Appear in Libyan Military Court


Authorities in eastern Libya have referred the Italian fishermen detained in Benghazi to the military prosecutor.

Libyan National Army (LNA) Brigadier General Muhammad Al-Warshafani, told the Nova news agency, that the detained Italian fishermen have been transferred to the Military Prosecution. They are due to be referred to the Military Court in Benghazi next month. “They will be tried for illegally entering and fishing in Libyan waters, without prior permission,” Al-Warshafani added.

Major General Khaled Al-Mahjoub, told Nova that “The leader of the LNA, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, has refused to release the fishermen detained in Benghazi, so long as a group of young Libyan men detained in Italy are not released.”

On 1 September, the Libyan Navy arrested 18 Italian fishermen for illegally entering Libyan waters. In 2015, four young Libyans in Sicily were sentenced by the magistrates of Catania, to 30 years in prison. They were accused of organising an illegal crossing from Libya, in which 49 migrants died. Libya is seeking a prisoner swap with the Italian government. Rome has claimed it refuses to be “blackmailed.”