(Xinhua) – The Libyan Attorney General’s office on Tuesday announced the detention of former Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Al-Saddiq Abdulkareem Kareem, pending an investigation into charges of financial corruption.

The office said in a statement that Kareem, who is also a presidential candidate, “signed contracts to provide needs that were of poor quality and with high prices, without the permission of the Audit Bureau.”

The contracts cost the country more than 1.257 billion Libyan dinars (273 million U.S. dollars).

Meanwhile, “the defendant provided assistance to one of his friends for the purpose of collecting public funds, violating the law and misusing the authority of the position,” the statement said, adding that his behavior resulted in the loss of over 230 million dinars (50 million dollars).

Two days earlier, the office released Minister of Culture Mabruka Othman, days after her arrest over financial corruption charges.

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