Updated | Libyan central bank chief 'not in Malta'

Libyan Central Bank Governor Saddek El-Kaber runs the bank from Malta • 'El-Kaber is not under Maltese protection' - government official

Libya's central bank chief Saddek el-Kaber runs the ban from Malta
Libya's central bank chief Saddek el-Kaber runs the ban from Malta

Although his family has been living in Malta for a number of years, Libyan Central Bank Governor Saddek El-Kaber is currently not in Malta, government sources said.

While the Central Bank of Libya reported that El-Kaber has been in hiding in Malta for months, El-Kaber is thought to be in London right now.

"El-Kaber was not under protection or security monitoring in Malta. The government has not received any requests for security or refuge," government spokesman said.

The Libya Herald reported that Saddek El-Kaber “has been seeking sanctuary in Malta for months” after Deputy Finance Minister Maraja Ghait informed the newly formed Parliament that the Governor “runs the bank from Malta.”

Moreover, the central bank issued a statement in which it confirmed that “the Governor’s sanctuary in Malta was a precautionary temporary measure forced upon the bank as a result of serious direct threats against the Governor.”

The threats, the central bank said, were in an effort to force the central bank to change its policy on corruption. The threats were also a result of the stand taken by the Governor on the squandering of public finances by politicians that has brought the country to the brink of financial disaster.

Earlier this year, Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni accused the Governor of obstructing the government and exceeding his powers after the bank attempted to curb government spending and protect its reserves from the sharp decline in oil revenues.

The central bank also reiterated its neutrality in the deadly struggle for power between militias and armed groups divided on tribal and regional lines.