Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Libya: Kidnapped Maltese oil worker released unharmed

A Maltese oil worker abducted by a Libyan militia on 17 July was released unharmed yesterday. According to a report, 42 year old Martin Galea has already flown back to Malta after eleven days in captivity.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat welcomed the retired armed forces captain on the tarmac at Malta airport and thanked the diplomatic service, the army and the Muslim community in Malta for helping secure his release.

Galea is an employee of Arab Geophysical Exploration Services and was abducted from the suburbs of Tripoli while he was being driven to work.

The Maltese government said that no ransom was paid for Galea's release and that it was too early to say who had abducted him or why. Given the increased spate of kidnappings by criminal gangs, however, the motivations are just as likely to have been financial rather than ideological.

Although he did not elaborate, Galea said the Maltese consul in Tripoli, Marisa Farrugia, had saved his life. A Maltese government official stated "We will fill in the blanks only after the Security Service has spoken to him. So far what we know for a fact is that he has been released and that was our priority.”

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.

© 2014 Menas Associates

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