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Saudi Arabia to extradite Libyan men wanted in Egypt

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) is welcomed by Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (L) with an official ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 23 April, 2017 [Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout]
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) is welcomed by Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (L) with an official ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 23 April, 2017 [Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout]

Saudi Arabia has unofficially agreed to an Egyptian request to extradite four Libyans arrested on suspicion of being involved in the kidnap of an Egyptian envoy three years ago, according to a member of the House of Representatives.

However, no formal request for the extradition has been made.

Five Egyptian diplomats were seized in Tripoli in January 2014 and used as ransom to release the head of the Islamist Libyan Revolutionaries Operation Room (LROR), Shaaban Hadia Al-Zawi, after he was arrested by Egyptian authorities.

The kidnappers gave Egypt 24 hours to release him threatening to kill the envoys if they did not comply. Egyptian authorities released Al-Zawi and the Egyptian diplomats were freed.

Read: Egypt’s crisis, Libyan petrol and political agendas

However four Libyans, Mahmoud Ben-Rajab, Mohammed Hussein Al-Khadrawi, Hussein Zahait and Abdul-Ghani Mohamed Ammar Abdullah, were all arrested at Jeddah airport as they were flying home after visiting Makkah.

After Ben-Rajab and Al-Khadrawi were detained, Zahait sought protection in Jeddah’s Libyan consulate but was later arrested at the airport when he left the consulate after nine days.

It is unclear whether the men are linked to the diplomatic abductions, however it is believed one of the men was a negotiator in the operation, the Libya Herald reported.

Presidency Council (PC) head Fayez Al-Sarraj hosted a delegation from the town which included members of the men’s families where he assured them that that the PC’s Foreign Minister, Mohamed Siala, would act to ensure the men’s legal rights and safety were upheld in Saudi.

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