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Harley Davidson among seized Gaddafi assets
Italy seizes family assets valued at $1.5bn, including stakes in Juventus and UniCredit, following request from ICC.
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2012 18:43
Gaddafi had signed a "friendship treaty" with Italy which led to rise in investments between the two nations

Italy has seized more than $1.5bn in assets controlled by the family of ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Wednesday's seizure, including stakes in top companies, land and a Harley Davidson motorcycle, falls in line with a request from the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague.

The police "seized today fixed and moveable assets, company stock and bank accounts connected to the family of ex-Libyan leader Kadhafi and to his entourage," a police statement said, listing the value of the assets.

Among those assets held by Libyan sovereign wealth funds was a 1.25 per cent stake in the nation's largest bank, UniCredit, worth $814m and a 0.58 per cent stake in oil major ENI, the top foreign energy producer in Libya.

The seizures also included a two per cent stake in Italian aerospace and defence giant Finmeccanica, worth $53m, and a 0.33 per cent stake in Italian carmaker Fiat and truck maker Fiat Industrial, valued at an estimated $71m.

Police said they further confiscated stock in the football club Juventus where one of Gaddafi's sons Saadi, who is now hiding in Niger, was once on the board, and an apartment in one of Rome's most exclusive areas.

The seizures also included 150 hectares of forest on Pantelleria, a picturesque Italian island halfway between Sicily and the Tunisian coast where the Colonel Gaddafi was rumoured to be planning to build a holiday village.

'Tripoli Declaration'

A commission at the ICC requested the assets be seized in the context of its investigation into Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, and his former intelligence chief, Abdullah Senussi, also a brother-in-law to the late Libyan leader.

Saif al-Islam is currently wanted for extradition from Libya to The Hague by the court where he faces charges of crimes against humanity.

The legal framework for the seizures also includes European Union rulings.

The assets - a business empire built up by Gaddafi starting in the 1970s - had already been frozen in the wake of the start of the Libyan rebellion last year. Police said it has taken time to work out the exact owners of the funds.

Gaddafi and Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian prime minister, signed a "friendship treaty" in 2008 which led to a sharp rise in investments between the two countries, while Italy also undertook to pay compensation for colonial times.

The new leadership in Libya appears to be distinctly cooler towards the country's former colonial master and has refused to revive the friendship treaty, signing only a new pact in January callled the "Tripoli Declaration".

Source:
AFP
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