Shadow of Muammar Gaddafi: 5 posthumous scandals that have struck Western countries

The disappearance of Muammar Gaddafi, the former Libyan leader overthrown and killed under democratic slogans, launched a period of instability and armed struggle for power in Libyan territory, leading to the country’s break-up into several autonomous state entities, as well as an increase in Islamist influence.

Muammar Gaddafi was killed in 2011 but his shadow continues to pursue some politicians, writes Vestifinance listing scandals linked to the former Libyan leader that have broken out in Western countries.

Canada

The Canadian opposition is calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to resign following the major political scandal that broke out on February 27 when former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould said he was under pressure from the PM Chancellery over the SNC Lavalin engineering and construction group fraud case.

The investigation into one of the world’s largest conglomerates began in 2011, when police discovered that the company’s representatives were paying large bribes to senior officials in the late Muammar Gaddafi’s government.
The Canadian group was hoping to win beneficial contracts in Libya. Senior Canadian officials have also tried to help Colonel Saadi Gaddafi’s son leave the country so that he can stay in Mexico when his father was overthrown.

When the investigation against the company was opened, Justin Trudeau was not yet the head of the government. Nevertheless, as Jody Wilson-Raybould noted, members of the firm threatened her by insinuating that she should stop the investigation. This was also the opinion expressed by Justin Trudeau.

The latter dismissed the charges and said he would not leave his post: “I am absolutely certain that my staff have always acted correctly and professionally. For this reason, I do not agree at all with the former Attorney General’s characterization of these events. Jody Wilson-Raybould is now a member of the Liberal Party, to which Justin Trudeau belongs.

France

Gaddafi’s shadow is also pursuing former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is accused of receiving financial assistance from the Libyan leader during his 2007 presidential campaign. Charges are completely denied by Nicolas Sarkozy.

The investigation into charges of Gaddafi’s financial assistance to Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign headquarters was opened in 2013. In November 2016, Franco-Libyan entrepreneur Ziad Takieddine told the French news website Mediapart that in 2006-2007 he had personally handed over three suitcases filled with 200 and 500 euro banknotes to Nicolas Sarkozy and his head office manager Claude Guéant. Ziad Takieddine said that this money came from Gaddafi and that the total amount was 5 million euros.

Le Monde reports that Bashir Saleh, then head of the Libyan Sovereign Wealth Fund, confirmed that Muammar Gaddafi had indeed financed Sarkozy’s campaign.

 

Belgium

Belgian police are currently checking information on the withdrawal of several billion euros from the frozen accounts of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, killed after the invasion of the country by NATO forces.

According to this information, between 3 and 5 billion euros have disappeared from these accounts since 2012. The channel’s source indicates that this money could have “potentially financed the seven-year civil war that caused a serious migration crisis”.

The case is handled by the investigating judge Michel Claise. In addition, reports RTBF, Belgian federal deputies have taken an interest in the situation and are considering inviting experts to the hearings.
In March 2018, Le Vif magazine wrote that in 2011 more than 11 billion euros had disappeared from the accounts of the Belgian bank Euroclear belonging to Libyan investment structures working for the family of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The magazine published a bank statement dated 30 November 2013 attesting to the presence in four blocked accounts under UN sanctions of €14.2 billion in securities and €1.9 billion in financial resources.

At the end of 2017, according to the official response of the Belgian prosecutor’s office to journalists’ requests, there remained “just under 5 billion euros” in these accounts. Thus, more than 11 billion euros have disappeared from frozen accounts, whereas theoretically no movement was possible.

These accounts belonged to two Libyan investment companies: Libyan Investment Authority and its subsidiary Lafico. The money was frozen in March 2011 as part of the sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council against Muammar Gaddafi and his family.

This had occurred about a month after the launch of the bombardments against Libyan government forces by NATO aviation. The United Nations Security Council thought that the frozen money could eventually be used for the reconstruction of Libya after the war and the creation of a government of national unity.

 

Goldman Sachs

The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) suffered losses of $1.2 billion as part of its collaboration with Goldman Sachs, one of the world’s largest banks.
Libya accuses Goldman Sachs of corrupting Muammar Gaddafi’s senior officials, selling assets that are known to be in deficit and taking advantage of the inexperience of the fund’s managers for their purposes.

Youssef Kabbaj, a former Goldman Sachs employee, intentionally violated professional ethics standards by providing false information in order to persuade the LIA to conduct loss-making financial transactions, which led to a $1.2 billion loss in 2008. Goldman Sachs’ management dismissed Kabbaj shortly after the bank’s cooperation with the LIA ended.

Goldman Sachs representatives state that the Libyan fund officials were aware of all financial transactions, securities bought and sold, describing LIA’s current position as unfounded.

In 2014, LIA representatives filed a complaint against Goldman Sachs demanding to reimburse the money lost as part of the collaboration. The trial on this case began in June 2016.

 

In the end, Goldman Sachs won the case against the LIA, which demanded $1.2 billion in compensation. Judge Vivien Rose pointed out that there was no evidence that the bank had obtained an overprofit. The relationship between the fund and Goldman Sachs “did not go beyond the framework of mutually beneficial relationships established between a bank and a client,” the judge said.
The LIA is a $60 billion oil fund created at the time of Muammar Gaddafi in 2006. As the Libyan authorities claim, Goldman Sachs’ bankers have been generous in obtaining access to LIA money: they have hired prostitutes, paid for private flights and luxury hotels for the fund’s managers. The younger brother of one of the LIA’s senior officials had even been hired as an intern at Goldman Sachs.

Société Générale

In 2018, the subsidiary of SGA Société Générale Acceptance NV was found guilty by the Federal Court of Brooklyn, New York, of violating the US law against foreign corruption between 2004 and 2009, when Muammar Gaddafi was in power in Libya.

The US Department of Justice report states that Société Générale paid the Libyan intermediary more than $90 million to send money as a bribe to senior Libyan officials in exchange for investments by Libyan public institutions in Société Générale.

The report also states that the bank has made investments totalling approximately $3.7 billion and generated $523 million in revenue through this criminal process.

In addition, Société Générale signed an agreement to delay the trial on charges of criminal conspiracy and transfer of false reports.

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