A scientific symposium was held on Wednesday in Tripoli under the theme “Recovering Libyan Assets, Stolen Funds, and Frozen Assets,” with the participation of law enforcement institutions, investigation authorities, regulatory agencies, and the Financial Operations Room of the Central Bank of Libya.
The symposium featured important research papers presented by academics and representatives of judicial and law enforcement agencies.
Panelists also included representatives of foreign institutions, inter alia, Adviser Dr. Badr Al-Banna from the UN Crime and Drug Control office in Vienna, in addition to ambassadors and delegates of Libya in Geneva and Vienna.
Among the participants was Dr. Majdi Shabaani, Deputy Head of the Governmental Experts Group and Director of the Legal Affairs Department at the National Anti-Corruption Authority.
Dr. Majdi stressed in statements to The Libya Observer that the importance of this symposium resides in the fact that it represents a complete convergence of the theoretical, practical, monitoring, and judicial aspects.
He indicated that Libya is a state party of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which includes a special section on recovering looted funds.
"The corrupt people channel their funds offshore to launder their money. To pursue them, we have to deal with numerous legal difficulties to recover these public funds. Corruption is smart and needs smart legislation," Dr. Majdi explains.
He emphasized the need for a national strategy to combat corruption, chief among them, amending penalties and punishments legislation, laws on the right and freedom of access to information, and to protects witnesses and whistleblowers, in addition to specialized prosecutions offices and courts to handle corruption cases.
"The seminar was an opportunity to re-evaluate ourselves and what has been done to recover the looted funds at the state's level."
According to Dr. Majdi, the Anti-Corruption Authority had recently referred 220 corruption cases to the competent authorities and issued its annual report, noting that its constraints in disclosing the document, is to maintain the confidentiality and integrity of the investigation.
The symposium covered several axes, including the role of anti-corruption agencies, regional and international cooperation, besides legal protection for frozen Libyan assets and the role of the Governmental Experts Group in identifying loopholes per the UN Convention against Corruption.