The Address | Benghazi – Libya
BRUSSELS – A delegation of the House of Representatives, who arrived earlier this week in Belgium, sent letters to Prime Minister Charles Michel, Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, Finance Minister Johan Van Overtveldt and Speaker of the House Siegfried Bracke, asking for an audit of Libyan frozen assets.
The delegation consists of Chairman of HoR’s Finance Committee Omar Tantoush, Chairman of HoR’s Foreign Affairs Committee Yosef Ebrahem Algouri and Murad Hamaima, a diplomat from the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to Belgian news magazine Le Vif, the letters were delivered Monday by the Libyan Embassy to the Protocol Directorate of the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs.
These letters formally request the Belgian government to send to the embassy an up-to-date list of “all financial assets frozen in financial institutions in Belgium”.
According to Le Vif, the letters stated that “if any amounts, whether from capital or from interest generated by such capital, have been transferred since the initial freeze, please provide our office with all detailed information concerning such transfers, including national or foreign accounts to which such transfers have been made, transfer payments and, of course, the reason for these transfers of assets from the Libyan State, as well as the competent institutions in Libya having requested such transfers. ”
HoR delegation demanded that Belgian officials respond to their requests by the deadline of December 9th since it coincides with the International Day Against Corruption.
“We kindly ask you to communicate this information to the embassy of Libya to Brussels, ideally by 9 December, the International Day Against Corruption. If, for any reason, you are experiencing a delay in providing this information, please inform the embassy in writing (as well as the reasons for the delay), as well as the planned date for which you will be able to provide the requested information. ”
Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn received the same request from the HoR delegation regarding interest and dividends transferred from Belgium by Euroclear Bank to his client HSBC Securities Services Luxembourg on behalf of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA).
According to Le Vif, the three Libyan delegates base their requests for information on a recent resolution of the United Nations Security Council, resolution 2441 (2018) voted on November 5 last. In this resolution, the Security Council “calls on Member States, particularly those in which designated individuals and entities are based as well as those in which their assets frozen under the measures are suspected to be present, to report to the Committee on the actions they have taken to implement effectively the travel ban and asset freeze measures in relation to all individuals on the sanctions list”
Several international media reports accused the Belgian government of financing Libyan militias involved in human trafficking through frozen Libyan assets.
The UN Panel of Experts on Libya said in a final report in September this year that the payment of interest and other income contradicted the decision to freeze Libyan assets in general and violated sanctions on Tripoli.
Both the Belgian government and the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) have denied these allegations.