Libya fund and UK at odds over compensation claim

The head of Libya’s sovereign wealth fund, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), has called on the British government not to pursue a claim to use some of the LIA’s frozen assets to compensate victims of Irish Republican Army (IRA) terrorist attacks.

A British parliamentary bill has argued that the Libyan regime under Muamar Gaddafi supplied arms to the IRA and therefore some of the LIA’s $67 billion of assets should be diverted to the victims of the conflict in Northern Ireland that claimed more than 3,600 lives and injured thousands.

It is estimated that London banks currently hold around $12.5 billion of LIA assets, which have been frozen ever since Gaddafi was toppled in 2011. 

The LIA chief executive and chairman, Ali Mahmoud Hassan, wrote to Britain’s junior government minister Alistair Burt to contend that the claim has no lawful basis because the frozen assets belong to the Libyan people.

“The UN Security Council has likewise ruled that frozen assets, when released, must be used for the benefit of the Libyan people,” states the letter, as reported by Reuters.

Hassan also stated that the funds were originally frozen “not as a punishment for wrongdoing but simply to safeguard the funds from being stolen or misappropriated at a time when Libya was suffering widespread violence and political uncertainty, and did not have a functioning government”.

©2018 funds global mena

Related Articles