The Libyan Attorney General announced the filing of a criminal case against 16 officials responsible for managing the country’s dam facilities, as part of investigations into the Derna dam collapse incident.
The Attorney General's Office stated that they had ordered the imprisonment of the mayor of Derna, the current and former heads of the Water Resources Authority, and other officials accused of wrongdoing. The Office also announced orders to jail the head of the Dam Projects Implementation and Maintenance Department, the head of the Dams Department in the eastern region, and the head of the Water Resources Office.
The Public Prosecution charged the imprisoned officials with mismanagement of administrative and financial tasks, their mistakes contributed to the occurrence of the disaster, their neglect to take precautions against disasters, and their causing economic losses to the country.
The Office also charged the mayor of Derna with abuse of power and deviation from the obligations of the mandate of managing funds allocated for the reconstruction and development of the city, noting that the mayor did not bring forth any evidence to defend these charges, adding that the prosecution proceeded to request the necessary investigation against the rest of those responsible for the Derna floods and others who mismanaged the reconstruction project.
The Office said that in 2014, officials of the Water Resources Authority deliberately took measures to pay sums of money to a Turkish Constructions Company, which was contracted to maintain the two dams, despite the fact that the sums of money it received were not proportional to its completed work, and it was proven that it had breached the obligations of the contract.
The Attorney General's Office had previously announced that it would begin its investigations and work in the Derna, Benghazi, and Tripoli offices, adding that the investigations would include current and former officials and extend to 20 years backward.