By Libya Herald staff,
Tobruk, 14 September 2014:
The House of Representatives has sacked Saddek Elkaber, the Governor of the Central Bank of . . .[restrict]Libya, and has asked the Attorney General to investigate him and allegations of financial irregularities at the bank.
The House voted for his removal this morning by 94 votes out of 102 members present. The Deputy Governor, Ali Salem Hibri, is to take over temporarily.
The HoR has been discussing Elkaber’s position for the past month and there were reports eleven days ago that members had decided to sack him after he failed to turn up following a summons to Tobruk for questioning. At the time he said he was sending Hibri to stand in for him. In the event, the reports of the sacking were denied with a member saying that the HoR did not want a row with the Central Bank because it could result in Libya’s assets abroad being frozen. This would include oil revenue receipts.
The decision to dismiss him now is thought to be linked to the row over the transfer of funds from the account of the General National Congress to that of the HoR, allegedly by Hibri. A figure of LD 80 million was widely reported, but a Central Bank official on Thursday was quoted saying the figure was exaggerated and that it was LD 11 million.
The official also said that reports that Hibri has been summoned to the bank for investigation over the transfer were likewise untrue.
It is alleged, however, that Elkaber, who was in Tripoli during the week, had closed the HoR account on the basis that it was illegal because the new legislature has not been yet inaugurated by the General National Congress.
It is not known if Hibri, who is now back in Tripoli, will be allowed to operate locally by Libya Dawn forces which control the capital or by the “government” of Omar Al-Hassi.
There has been no reaction from Elkaber who is believed to be attending a banking conference in Algeria. However, given that the international community recognises the HoR as Libya’s legitimate legislature and not the rump Congress, he and those acting on his orders will now be unable to control CBL funds held abroad.
Nothing has been said yet about his position as chairman of the Arab Banking Corporation, which is majority-owned by the Central Bank.
The Prime Minister, Abdullah Al-Thinni, is known to have wanted Elkaber’s removal. In April, he accused him of exceeding his powers and refusing to release funds for the government approved by Congress. [/restrict]