Bank of Valletta ordered to hand €96 million linked to Gaddafi over to Libyan state

Bank of Valletta ordered to hand €96 million linked to Gaddafi over to Libyan state

June 29, 2022 - 19:13
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Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

Malta Today newspaper said €96 million linked to the son of slain Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and held by the Maltese bank of Valletta must be returned to the Libyan state following a ruling by Malta's courts on Tuesday. 

The six-year case filed by the Libyan Attorney General accused the Maltese bank of breaching "know your customer" rules by holding vast sums for Gaddafi under a different name, Muatasimbllah Muammar Abuminyar. 

Mutassim Gaddafi, the fourth son of the former leader, was discovered to be the owner of the Maltese-registered company with BoV accounts. 
 
"According to Libyan law, as an army official, he had been precluded from drawing benefits from any business interests. Moreover, he had failed to submit a full declaration of assets as prescribed by the laws of his country," the Maltese newspaper said. 

Gaddafi's widow, Safia Farkash, contested the claims filed by the Libyan Attorney General. Her lawyer argued the cash included private funds and was not government-owned. 

"You’ve been trying to prove that the provenance of his funds was illicit… there has not been a single clue of a single time of any amount coming from any official or related Libyan business," the Greek lawyer, Charilos 'Harris' Oikonomopoulos, told the Libyan Attorney General's lawyer in Malta. 

The Office of the Attorney General, Al-Siddiq Al-Sour explained that public funds deposited in the accounts of the National Security Council, and the accounts of its agencies and entities, are funds and proceeds seized by the public officials involved in their management in 2010. 

The Office indicated that it had requested earlier from the Attorney General of Malta to enforce its indirect order to seize and freeze the "proceeds of crime, and to end with an order to confiscate them from the concerned authorities to implement the request for legal aid in the Malta," because funds deposited in the accounts of legal persons of the Bank of Valletta are public funds deposited in the accounts after their seizure.

"The judiciary in the Republic of Malta was informed of the legal basis for the request for the direct recovery of the funds under investigation, so it responded to a request to recover an amount of 96 million euros, which the perpetrators deliberately transferred to the Republic of Malta through parallel channels." It added.