By Sami Zaptia.
London, 7 February 2019:
Further to the arrest of its chairman Ali Mahmoud in Tripoli yesterday, the LIA has blamed those serving “their own interests” for his arrest.
Confirming his “detention” the LIA told Libya Herald that Mahmoud and the LIA have received threats from those resistant to reform, transparency and accountability.
The LIA said that it’s chairman “Mahmoud and the LIA have been working hard to secure the assets and interests of the LIA for the benefit of Libya and the Libyan people.
“Under Mahmoud’s leadership”, the statement continued, “the LIA has continued to take steps to ensure that no unauthorised individuals are purporting to act on its behalf or on behalf of any of its subsidiary entities, investment companies or funds.
This extends to ensuring that appropriately qualified individuals/firms are acting on behalf of the LIA.
This is to avoid any interference from parallel institutions, in keeping with the directions of the United Nations. It also ensures that the right expertise is engaged on behalf of the LIA in progressing or defending cases.
Stopping improper influence from parallel institutions is why Mahmoud took action to take control of the Palladyne funds which would otherwise be controlled by people close to (former LIA chairman Abdulmagid) Breish who himself has refused to acknowledge the authority ofMahmoud, the Board of the LIA he chairs and/or the Government of National Accord.
Unfortunately, the strategy to remove any improper and outside influence has not been universally popular.
Mahmoud and his staff have received threats to their personal safety, and his detention yesterday is just one example of such threatening behaviour.
Those that threaten Mahmoud and the LIA serve their own interests, and not those of the LIA or Libya and its people.
They are resistant to the LIA’s programme of reform which seeks to ensure greater transparency and accountability, and to ensure that the LIA is observing international standards of best practice for sovereign wealth funds.
The LIA is also appointing independent forensic accountants to scrutinise how assets, including the Palladyne funds, have been treated and to ensure they are secured for the LIA’s benefit.
Mahmoud and the LIA are committed to continuing efforts to reform the LIA and ensure that its assets and interests are safeguarded for the benefit of Libya and its people” the statement concluded.