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Malta denies that former official held meetings in Tripoli on its behalf

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

VALLETTA –  The Maltese government denied on Wednesday that Neville Gafà, a former government official who had been implicated in an alleged Libyan visa racket, was holding diplomatic talks in Tripoli on behalf of the Maltese government, according to the Times of Malta.

The Interior Ministry of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) published pictures on its Facebook page of its minister, Fathi Bashagha and Gafà, whom the ministry described as a “special envoy of the Prime Minister of Malta”.

A spokesman for the Office of the Prime Minister confirmed to the Times of Malta that Gafà did not hold any official meetings in Libya on behalf of the Maltese government. Gafà confirmed he had held meetings in Libya but insisted that these were on the basis of “friendships”.

GNA’s Interior Ministry said in its statement, “the Minister of the Interior expressed his happiness to consolidate the bilateral relations between the two friendly countries in the security fields to serve the common interest of Libya and Malta. For his part, the Maltese envoy praised the disciplined, stable and stable security in the capital.”

Times of Malta reported that another Facebook post by GNA’s Media Office, which seems to have been deleted, showed Gafà meeting with Deputy Chairman of the Presidential Council, Ahmed Miitig.

In 2016, Gafà, then an official at the Health Ministry, had been accused by a whistle-blower of having masterminded a medical visa racket. He had been investigated for allegedly charging Libyans a €2,500 monthly fee to secure medical visas, treatment and accommodation, along with an additional €100 charge.

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