By Areej Haddad.
Tripoli, 16 June 2013:
Taha Bara, the public prosecutor held since May 16 by Tripoli Supreme Security Council (SSCT), has . . .[restrict]been released after the Attorney General instructed he be freed. He was released on Friday.
He was arrested, along with Khoms Congressman Akram Al-Janin and the Investment Undersecretary at the Oil Ministry following a disturbance at a villa in Tripoli’s Zenata area. Last month, the Justice Minister, Salah Al-Marghani, called the arrests illegal and demanded their release, pointing out that both Bara and Janin, because of their posts, had certain immunities. The call was to no immediate avail.
However, on Thursday, the Tripoli SSC, which is under the control of Hashim Bishr, presented a memorandum to the Attorney General and once Bara’s national and diplomatic passports were handed to Attorney General’s office, he was released the following day.
The specifics of his release emerged from a copy of a letter circulating on social media networks, but the letter itself was not been posted on the SSCT Facebook page.
The ongoing case against Bara will be handle by the Judicial Commission, as public prosecutors hold special due process rights. A meeting between SSCT and the Attorney General is due to be held tomorrow to further discuss the case.
The charges against Bara have not been made public, but unlike those against the other men arrested with him, which are alleged to relate to alcohol consumption, those against Bara are said to pertain to other offences.
Janin was released on 3 June, after it was deemed there was insufficient evidence to continue holding him. Additionally, the arrest itself was not in accordance with legal procedures. At his press conference on the issue on 23 May, the Justice Minister pointed out that detentions over 48 hours must be approved by the Supreme Judicial Council. Marghani also stated that he had requested the release of the men and in particular Bara but that the SSCT had not complied.
Both Bara and Janin have had considerable support for their release, however, that has not been the case for the Oil Ministry Undersecretary who still remains in detention.
Janin has made no public statement about the incident or his arrest and detention but is expected to do so this coming week.
The SSC has been under scrutiny for their handling of the incident and the arrests. The new Interior Minister Mohamed Al-Sheikh, paid a surprise visit to the prison at Mitiga Airbase run by SSCT. According to a post on the SSC Facebook page, Sheikh was satisfied with his visit and received positive feedback from detainees on their treatment. [/restrict]