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Gaddafi’s widow appeals against Malta court decision to transfer son’s funds to Libya government

July 24, 2022 at 9:41 am

Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi (L) attends a meeting with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano (R) at the Quirinale Palace on June 10, 2009 in Rome, Italy. [Franco Origlia/Getty Images]

The widow of Muammar Gaddafi, the deposed leader of Libya, has appealed a decision by a Maltese court which ordered a bank to return to the Libyan state 95 million euros ($100 million) of the family’s former funds.

Upon his death, one of the late dictator’s sons, Mutassim Gaddafi – who was captured and killed by rebels in 2011 along with his father – was discovered to be in possession of credit cards from the Bank of Valletta (BOV), identifying him as the owner of a company registered in Malta named Capital Resources Limited.

A legal battle then began in 2012 to determine the fate of the 95 million euros the young Gaddafi had deposited into his account, with the new Libyan state accusing the bank of failing to sufficiently carry out checks that would have prevented him from initially being able to open the account.

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According to Libya’s attorney general, Libyan law ruled that Mutassim – as an army officer –  was not allowed to financially benefit from any business interests. The country’s law also required him to submit a full declaration of his assets, which he failed to do.

A decade later, a Maltese court last month made a decision and ordered that the funds be given to the Libyan government.

According to the newspaper the Times of Malta, the former Libyan leader’s widow, Safiya Ferkash, and her lawyers have now made an appeal to have the funds transferred to her and Gaddafi’s heirs, asserting that the Maltese court lacked jurisdiction and could not rightfully decide on the case.

The appeal is primarily based on the argument that the Libyan laws which the court invoked were criminal or penal laws, which contradicts the case of Ferkash’s son due to the fact that no criminal case was ever initiated against him or his heirs.

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