Rival Tripoli government restricts Libya’s oil revenues: Benghazi-based PM

Benghazi-based Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thani said the country’s eastern regions were receiving only about $126 million monthly for public salaries. (File/AFP)
Updated 16 October 2019

Rival Tripoli government restricts Libya’s oil revenues: Benghazi-based PM

  • Libya’s National Oil Corporation has said it is neutral in the conflict

BENGHAZI, Libya: The head of Libya’s parallel government in the east says rival, UN-backed authorities in Tripoli have restricted oil revenues to areas under its control.

Benghazi-based Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thani told The Associated Press Tuesday that the country’s eastern regions were receiving only about $126 million monthly for public salaries, despite holding most of Libya’s oil facilities.

However, he says the rival Tripoli-based government, which controls Libya’s Central Bank, has continued to give oil revenues to “outlawed groups and militias.”

He says his government has resorted to loans to do its businesses. Al-Thani leads an interim government in the east which is backed by the self-styled Libyan National Army, which has been battling to take Tripoli since April.

Libya’s National Oil Corporation has said it is neutral in the conflict.


Turkish police arrest journalist Altan a week after his release

Updated 13 November 2019

Turkish police arrest journalist Altan a week after his release

  • Altan and the others deny the charges against them
  • On Tuesday a higher court overruled the decision to release Altan, ordering his arrest on grounds that there was a risk of him fleeing

ISTANBUL: Turkish police detained prominent journalist and author Ahmet Altan late on Tuesday, a week after he was released from prison in his retrial on coup-related charges, Istanbul police said.

Before his release last Monday, the 69-year-old had been in jail since his arrest in 2016, two months after an attempted coup which Ankara says was orchestrated by the network of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The journalist’s case has drawn criticism from human rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies. They are concerned by the scale of a post-coup crackdown against suspected Gulen supporters under President Tayyip Erdogan.

Altan smiled and waved as he was driven away by counter-terror squad police officers after being taken from his home in Istanbul, video and photos published by Turkish media showed.

He was taken to Istanbul police headquarters after a hospital check-up, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.

Altan, his brother and other journalists were previously sentenced to life in jail for aiding Gulen’s network. Last week he was convicted again in a retrial, but released from jail given the time served.

Altan and the others deny the charges against them.

On Tuesday a higher court overruled the decision to release Altan, ordering his arrest on grounds that there was a risk of him fleeing, Anadolu reported.

Under last week’s verdict, Altan was sentenced to 10 years and six months in jail. Turkey’s high court had overruled the previous life sentences against him in July, sending the file back for re-trial.

Erdogan’s government has jailed more than 77,000 people pending trial since the failed putsch. Widespread arrests are still routine in a crackdown critics say demonstrates growing autocracy in Turkey.

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, and his followers deny any involvement in the coup. Turkey has repeatedly called on the United States to extradite the cleric.