By Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 7 November:
An Italian court has ordered that Qaddafi-era holdings in two major Italian firms to be returned to . . .[restrict]Libya.
The president of the Libyan Investment Authority, Mohsen Derregia, issued a statement after the ruling, saying that the Rome appeal court had ordered the restitution of the LIA’s holdings in UniCredit, one of Europe’s largest banks, and aerospace company Finmeccanica. In July, a similar ruling handed over to the LIA a stake in Italian oil giant Eni, accepting the same argument as that made in court this week, that the LIA was the legitimate owner of the assets.
In March 2011, UniCredit froze the voting rights of shares held in it by Libya and withheld dividend payments, in line with sanctions ordered by the European Union against the Qaddafi regime.
At the request of the International Criminal Court, Italy had also seized assets that it said belonged to the Qaddafi’s family, including an island estate, a luxury Rome apartment and a Harley Davidson motorbike. Last June, these assets were also awarded to the LIA.
After the judgement, Derregia was reported by the ANSAmed newsagency as saying: “I am very pleased with this result, that brings assets for over a billion euros back into the hands of the new Libyan government, democratically elected by the Libyan people. [/restrict]