The Libyan professor of International Law and Human Rights, Dr. Ramadan Benzeer, has recently commented on the issue of the release of Libyan frozen assets in Belgium.
“The Belgian Minister of Finance Johan Van Overtveldt confirms and the Chairman of the Libyan Investment Authority Ali Mahmoud denies!” Benzeer remarked.
Benzeer went on to say that Overtveldt confirmed the reports about the release of 1.8 billion euros since October 2012 from Belgian banks, which was a clear reply to the statement of the LIA’s Chairman, who denied the reports.
Belgian channel RTBF, Benzeer added, also confirmed that the 1.8 billion of Libyan frozen assets were withdrawn from Belgian banks, saying the Libyan assets are worth 14 billion euros in Belgian banks.
“The case is still up for dispute and argument at the Belgian parliament, where Overtveldt appeared last Month and said that the withdrawn money was transferred to bank accounts in Luxembourg and Bahrain on behalf of the LIA and Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company.” Benzeer indicated.
He also found it a bit strange that the Libyan authorities had not opened direct communication channels with Belgian counterparts to try and resolve the issue, which was also revealed by the final report of the UN experts’ panel last September.
“Even the Libyan Audit Bureau did not issue a report on the matter.” Benzeer said, calling on the Attorney General to probe the release and squandering of Libyan frozen assets in Belgium.
He told the Libyan Express that the Attorney General should probe the serious issue of relating Libyan frozen assets and should involve the directors of board of the LIA since 2011 so the Libyan people can know the truth.
A Belgian investigation has been underway into the billions of euros missing from Belgian banks that belonged to the Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.
This investigation came following the accusations that Belgium authorities were paying out interest and dividends on frozen Libyan bank accounts.