By Sami Zaptia.
London, 15 June 2020:
The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), Libya’s main sovereign wealth fund, has won another important judicial victory in pursuit of its protection of its assets.
On 11 June, the Brussels Court of Appeal ruled that the US$15 billion LIA assets could not be transferred outside the Belgian Euroclear banking system after a reservation on the assets was made.
The decision of the Brussels Court requires that the assets remain in the Euroclear system rather than be transferred to an external account under the supervision of the Belgian judiciary. It will be recalled that the LIA assets have been seized as a precautionary measure as part of ongoing investigations.
The LIA welcomed the decision, noting that it was not a claimant in the main case. Commenting on the court victory, LIA head Ali Mahmoud said: “The LIA has harnessed all available legal means to preserve these important assets for the benefit of future generations.”
It will be recalled that the Brussels ruling follows two previous court victories for the LIA. A ruling in March by the Commercial Court in London, ruled in favour of the LIA in the dispute over the legitimacy of its management. It had confirmed the legitimacy of the LIA board of directors headed by Ali Mahmoud and considered him the sole legitimate head of the LIA.
Commenting on these successive judicial victories, Mahmoud said: “The recent judicial rulings (on the issue of the adjudication of the legitimacy, the Euroclear case, the al-Kharafi case) reinforce the momentum of the LIA achievements currently underway with the launch of the comprehensive transformation program, and our success in implementing many initiatives in recent years, ensuring the protection of our assets around the world and enshrining transparency and accountability in the rest of the LIA’s operations.”
The LIA reaffirmed its continued implementation of its strategy to protect its assets in order to safeguard the rights of future generations, the independence of its legal and financial personality from that of the Libyan government, and affirmed its full commitment to the sanctions regime imposed by the UN Security Council.
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