By Libya Herald reporters.
Tunis, 23 March 2016:
The Tripoli-based Libya Investment Authority has accused the United Nations of lying when it claimed . . .[restrict]that the rival management appointed by the Thinni government in Beida has access to any of the LIA’s $69 billion assets.
In a report to the Security Council seven days ago, the UN Panel of Experts on Libya wrote that its sources indicated that the Malta-based LIA under the government’s control had access to the funds of the LIA and the Libyan Africa Investment Portfolio. The LAIP is in fact an LIA offshoot with some $5 billion of investments.
This has been refuted by the Tripoli LIA’s London communications company, Portland. Philip Hall, a partner in the firm also told the Libya Herald that the UN Experts’ assertion that it had been in touch with the AbdulMajid Breish, the Tripoli organisation’s chairman, was untrue.
In a statement issued on behalf of its client, Portland denied that Breish had ever said that his LIA had no control over the Authority’s funds.
“The UN panel did not contact Mr. Breish and he did not make any such statements” said the statement, “The UN panel did not contact the LIA at its head office in Tripoli and made no attempt to corroborate the factual inaccuracies in its report that relate to LIA.
Briesh, a senior banker, was removed by the Thinni government in July 2014 and subsequently accused by the prime minister of fraud. Under the General National Congress’s Political Isolation Law, Breish had already been banned from holding a public position because he had held aN office under Qaddafi.
Breish however ignored his ouster by the government in far away Beida and has continued to function as LIA chairman in Tripoli where the Authority’s offices are located. Last December he insisted that the LIA was an independent organisation and called for the freeze in its assets to remain in place until a government of national unity takes office in the capital. However, it remains unclear if he was referring to the Government of National Accord that emerged from the Skirhat agreement or some other coming together of Libya’s rival camps. [/restrict]