Malta court says Gaddafi millions at Bank of Valletta must be returned to Libya

Court orders return of €96 million held by late son of Libyan dictator, Muatassim Gaddafi inside Bank of Valletta, to the Libyan State

Muatassim Gaddafi
Muatassim Gaddafi

Over €96 million in money held by Bank of Valletta by the heirs of the late son of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, will have to disbursed in favour of the Libyan state, as a six-year case finally wraps up with a decision in favour of the plaintiff, the Libyan Attorney General.

Gaddafi’s millions were historically managed by the former Labour Party treasurer Joe Sammut, an accountant who had been facing proceedings in court for creating companies with false stock to secure residence permits for Libyan businessmen in Malta.

The cash funded Muatassim Gaddafi’s playboy lifestyle, with millions held in his various American Express and Visa credit card accounts.

The three accounts at Bank of Valletta were held in the name of Capital Resources, a company owned by Gaddafi but whose name appeared as Muatasimbllah Muammar Abuminyar.

Muatassim, 36, died in the Libyan desert, bearded and in his last gasps on a hospital bed, with a gaping wound in his throat on 20 October, 2011 after being captured at the fall of Sirte.

The Libyan Attorney General had also accused Bank of Valletta of violating know-your-customer rules that should have prevented it from opening an account for Gaddafi in the first place.

The Libyan Attorney General was represented by Shazoo Ghaznavi.

Libya’s claims were opposed by Safia Farkash Gaddafi, the 69-year-old widow now living in Oman with sons Hannibal and Mohammad, and daughter Aisha.

Safia Farkash’s lawyer, Charilos ‘Harris’ Oikonomopoulos, claimed that Muatassim Gaddafi had another heir: his hitherto unknown wife and Dutch model Lisa van Goinga and her son.

Oikonomopoulos insisted that Gaddafi’s Malta cash were his private funds and not government monies. “You’ve been trying to prove that the provenance of his funds was illicit… there has not been a single clue of a single time of any amount coming from any official or related Libyan business,” the Greek lawyer told the Libyan AG’s lawyer in Malta. “These funds were private funds, having nothing to do with the Libyan state.”

Oikonomopoulos was assisted by lawyer Louis Cassar Pullicino. Lawyer Simon Micallef Stafrace was nominated by the courts to act as deputy curator on behalf of the unknown heirs of Mutassin Gaddafi.