A man from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who was held in detention on suspicion of spying, has been killed in Libya, Tripoli’s state prosecutor says.
“A member of Libyan intelligence killed the Emirati citizen before being gunned down by security forces,” Seddiq es-Sour told reporters on Wednesday.
The prosecutor, however, did not say when the incident took place.
The prosecutor said the Emirati man was arrested in November 2015 pending trial on charges of links to Dubai’s police force.
“He claimed to be a businessman with no ties to Dubai police but intelligence agents found photographs of sensitive sites on his phone, including of the Turkish embassy,” Sour said.
In November 2015, prosecutors in Tripoli released a national ID card and a passport for a suspect, identified as Yousuf Saqer Ahmed Mubarak Welayti, a corporal with the Dubai police. However, in a statement, Dubai Police Chief Khamis Mattar al-Mazeina said Welayti was stripped of his post as a police officer in 2010.
In December 2015, the Huffington Post reported that the UAE backs the Tobruk-based government. The report alleged that the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, the main supporters of rebels against Libya’s former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, were waging a proxy war in Libya and were behind political unrest in the African country.
According to the report, the UAE backs the government in eastern Libya, while Qatar, along with Turkey and Sudan, supports the Tripoli-based government.
Libya has been in chaos since a NATO military intervention followed the 2011 uprising that led to the toppling and killing of Gaddafi. Rival governments were set up in Tripoli and eastern Libya in 2014.