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One of the Three Georgian Sailors Detained in Libya Released

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, March 15
A Georgian sailor Nukri Khokhba, who was detained in Libya last year after the law enforcers found illegal load on a Turkish ship, has been released as no evidence has been found against him, the Georgian Foreign Ministry reported.

However, two other Georgian sailors, a captain and his assistant, remain in custody as the investigation is still in progress.

“Khokhba has already arrived to Georgia and now he is with his family in the Adjara region,” Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze has stated.

The minister claimed that his body was proving all efforts to achieve the release of the two Georgian sailors.

“I have talked with my colleague in Libya and the Foreign Ministry of Georgia is in non-stop communication with the lawyers of the case in Libya,” he said.

The three Georgian sailors were among 11 crew members of a Turkish ship sailing under the Tanzanian flag who were detained in Libya on August 30, 2017.

The sailors’ families have stated that the Government of Georgia was not taking necessary steps to free their citizens.

However, the Foreign Ministry of Georgia has dismissed the information several times and stated that all steps have been taken to support the people, including hiring of lawyers for them.

Libya Herald wrote in August last year that the Tanzanian-flagged oil products tanker had been tracked for several days.

“The 43 year-old vessel, once called the Amari, allegedly contained 1,160,000 litres of fuel, said navy spokesman Ayoub Gassem. He claimed the cargo was being smuggled. Another coastguard official said the tanker had been tracked for several days beforehand. However, it is unclear were the diesel was loaded,” the media reported.