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Libya: Haftar's family liquidates assets in US

Libyan Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar (C) steps into a limousine as he departs from the Hotel de Rome on January 21, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. [Sean Gallup/Getty Images]
Libyan Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar (C) steps into a limousine as he departs from the Hotel de Rome on January 21, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. [Sean Gallup/Getty Images]

The family of retired Libyan General Khalifa Haftar has started to sell its property and assets in the US following the escalation of his legal problems. The family looks likely to move to an Arab country, after receiving an offer to do so, Middle East Eye has reported.

"Okba Haftar, the US-based son of the Libyan military leader, sold a five-bedroom, six-bathroom, 7,300 sq ft home in Great Falls, Virginia, for $2.55m," according to public records reviewed by MEE. "The sale came less than two weeks after a US judge ordered that a lawsuit accusing the Libyan commander of war crimes move forward, after a pause in legal proceedings that had lasted several months."

MEE pointed out that the Haftar family had sold a country house and other properties during the past two weeks.

Haftar's legal situation has worsened since then, as a federal judge issued a judgment in absentia against him on 29 July, finding him liable for committing war crimes. The court is currently assessing the amount of compensation owed to the plaintiffs.

Victims and lawyers are targeting the Haftar family's real estate for compensation. "We will now be moving towards the damage phase," said Mark Zaid, a lawyer representing a group of the plaintiffs, "And we'll execute upon properties wherever we can find them anywhere in the world."

READ: US court convicts Khalifa Haftar as war criminal

Court documents indicate that the Haftar family owns at least seventeen properties in Virginia alone. The properties were first reported in an article by the Wall Street Journal, which cited an asset-tracking document prepared by private consultants from the Libyan government.

The British news website revealed that nine of the properties in Virginia have been sold, including the home in Great Falls, according to public real estate records. Moreover, six properties were sold between 2019 and 2020, including two suburban homes in Bristow, sold for $680,000 and $715,000. In October 2020, a four-bedroom country house was sold in Ashburn, Virginia, for $702,000, while another property was sold in Bristow last November for $620,000.

Court documents said that Haftar owns only two American properties personally, a private apartment in the suburbs of Falls Church, Virginia, and a 3-bedroom farm in rural Virginia. He keeps other Virginia real estate in the possession of a limited company that is managed by his son.

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