Maltese worker kidnapped in Libya freed

2014-07-29 15:29
A masked Libyan gunman stands on a street in the eastern city of Benghazi. (Abdullah Doma, AFP)

A masked Libyan gunman stands on a street in the eastern city of Benghazi. (Abdullah Doma, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Valletta - A Maltese worker who was abducted by Libyan rebels on the outskirts of Tripoli on 17 July has been freed and arrived home safely in Valletta on Monday, authorities said.

Martin Galea, aged 40, a health and safety professional who worked for an oil and gas company, appeared to be in good health but was taken to hospital for a thorough examination.

"I don't have words to thank all those who helped in whatever way to save my life", Galea said after being welcomed home by his wife and friends.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who also met Galea at the airport, said no ransom had been paid for his release.

"No ransom was sought from the Maltese government and so we paid no ransom. It is possible that his employer was asked for a ransom at some point, but no money was paid. I can assure you of that", Muscat told reporters on the tarmac.

Libyan militia who snatched Galea as he was on his way to work initially held him in the east of the troubled country.

The Maltese government said Galea was then moved several times and may even have been taken to Tunisia for part of his nearly two weeks in captivity.

"Several versions were given to us, and there are still some unanswered questions. We will see if we can fill in these blanks once the secret services have questioned [Galea]", Muscat said.

Libya has been awash with weapons since the end of the 2011 uprising against Moamer Kadhafi and has been gripped by increasing lawlessness.

Violent clashes between rival militias have been raging since mid-July, prompting the United States and major EU states to call Monday for a ceasefire.

Diplomats in Tripoli say militias often carry out kidnappings to blackmail countries into releasing Libyans they hold.

Previous abductions this year saw a Tunisian diplomat and an embassy staffer kidnapped, as well as the Jordanian ambassador in a separate incident.

Read more on:    eu  |  malta  |  libya  |  abductions  |  north africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.


This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!


I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go! - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


Any chance to explore the distant shores of things yet to be found will fascinate you. The challenge is dealing with the more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.