Bashagha Orders Submission of Flight Manifests for All Private Jets – Al Marsad

The Interior Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fathi Bashagha sent a letter to the GNA’s Transportation Minister Milad Maatouq, requesting that he be informed of the names of passengers on private jets taking off and landing in the airports under their control in the west of the country and not allowing any of them to take off except after this procedure.

(Libya, 12 July 2020) – Fathi Bashagha, in his letter dated Wednesday 8 July, based his request on the state of “emergency and general alarm”, the emergency and exceptional situation the country is passing through, and the information provided to him by his security services—in short the Emergency Law.

Letter by Fathi Bashagha addressed to Milad Maatouq.

The letter instructed Maatouq to ensure that competent authorities abide by the new requirement, informing them that “there are terrorists that intend to leave Libya on private jets and flights, as well as the arrival of wanted persons in connection with criminal cases and crimes onboard these private flights.”

It is a well established fact that private and commercial aviation arrive almost exclusively from Turkey, with very few exceptions granted for ambulance aircraft for treatment for flights to Italy, Germany, and Tunisia due to the flight ban imposed on Libyan aircraft of different types in European airspace and in the region. This raises questions on how were terrorists able to hire such costly private jets, or the countries that harbor them and facilitate their travel and entry and exit, in addition to transporting Syrians and mercenaries to and from Turkish airports.

To control and monitor the departure and arrival of private flights and flying ambulance, Bashagha asked Maatouq not to issue landing, take-off, and transit permissions for private aviation as well as temporary charters except after taking permission from the Ministry of Interior. His decision comes just 4 days after his announcement on 4 July of having received a private jet for his ministry to use it in civil and security transportation tasks, according to a statement issued by his office. Yet, unlike other officials, his own movements will not fall under the same scrutiny it seems.

Bashagha in the private jet he recently received.

Bashagha also stipulated that in order to grant permission to private aircrafts, it was necessary to submit a list of passengers and information on airport takeoff and landing airports. The only exception to this being the trips of the President of the Presidential Council and the rest of his remaining Vice-Presidents, i.e. five people (Fayez al-Sarraj, Ahmed Maiteeq, Muhammad Amari Zayed, Abdel Salam Kajman, and Ahmed Hamza).

The remaining 5 out of 9 Presidential Council’s members who issue their decisions in violation of the unanimity clause, according to Skhirat Agreement- Archives

Bashagha, however did not exempt, for example, the member of the Muslim Brotherhood, President of the High Council of the State, Khaled al-Mishri, his deputies, Siddiq al-Kabir, the senior officials of the Investment Corporation, as well as the rest of his “fellow ministers and undersecretaries”, which may indicate that some of those may have facilitated the transportation of terrorists along with them in the private jets.

With reference to the Emergency Law, some parties in the GNA’s camp have described it as a “tool of tyranny”, in addition to Sarraj’s monopoly on decision-making. This prompted the Muslim Brotherhood member Abdul Salam Kajman to demand the suspension of issuing decisions and disbursing funds individually without meeting minutes as stipulated under the political agreement, while he ignores the fact that all decisions, even those issued in his presence, violate the Skhirat Agreement which requires a consensus of the members out of whom four resigned or have been absent.

© Al Marsad English