French Court Overturns €10 million Fine against Libya


On Wednesday, Libya’s Supreme Judiciary Council announced that the French Court of Appeal cancelled a previous ruling obliging the Libyan Ministry of Defense to pay a €10 million euro fine.

In a statement, the Council said that the Court of Appeal’s decision nullifies the French Court of First Instance’s recognition of the judgment issued by the Serbian judiciary, in the lawsuit filed by East Iron Zemun Company.

It explained that the French Court of Appeal described the procedures on which these provisions were based on as “invalid.” The company was also ordered to pay the €20 thousand euro legal fees. As well as noting that the ruling is final, given that it was not appealed within the prescribed period.

Notably, Libya’s representative at the UN’s Economic and Financial Committee meeting (Second Committee), Ahmed Motamad called for international cooperation in locating smuggled funds and assisting in their recovery.

He confirmed that recovering the smuggled money will help Libya finance its reconstruction projects, and achieve sustainable development.

Billions of dollars in cash, bonds, deposits, large hotels, lands, yachts, luxury cars, and private planes, are owned by the state, which is unable to benefit from them.

The authorities claim they do not know the total amount of the funds that were “looted and smuggled” abroad. Furthermore, the total amount of smuggled assets have not been noted in official reports.

The years of intense chaos and corruption caused the former United Nations Special Envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame to reveal the rampant financial corruption in Libya, and confirm its existence.

“There is a new millionaire every day in the country, and the middle class is shrinking day by day” Salame noted. The political class, he added, “is shamefully corrupt and fortunes collected from political ranks are being invested abroad. Politicians in Libya seize public money and invest it overseas.”