The French Court of Cassation, France’s highest court, today invalidated the executive seizures submitted by the Kuwaiti Al-Kharafi Group against the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA).
The LIA today welcomed the decision ‘‘acknowledging the impossibility for creditors of the Libyan state to make attachments on LIA assets, currently frozen by international regulations.’’
It added that the French court ‘‘rightly rejected the request of Al Kharafi group, a creditor of the Libyan state, to validate attachments made on LIA assets. These attachments had been performed in France by Al Kharafi in 2013 and 2016 to enforce an arbitral award worth over 1 billion USD rendered between the Libyan state and Al Kharafi, despite the LIA not being a party to the proceedings following the arbitral Tribunal’s dismissal of Al Kharafi’s request to joint it.’’
The LIA said that in its ruling, the French court had ‘‘stressed that, as per EU law, assets frozen under international regulations cannot be transferred and therefore cannot be seized.’’
The LIA welcomed the decision which it said ‘‘finally confirms the nullity of attachments that the LIA has relentlessly fought for years and contributes decisively to the efficiency of international regulations.’’
Jean-Sébastien Bazille, counsel to the LIA said “The Cour de cassation’s decision puts a stop to Al Kharafi’s long campaign of attachments on LIA assets. In line with the European Court of Justice, France’s highest court has strengthened the protection of frozen assets and the efficiency of international and European regulations.”
Ali Mahmoud, chairman and CEO of the LIA added that “Today’s decision is a major success for the Libyan Investment Authority, which has been continuously battling illegitimate and unjustified asset seizures by rogue creditors over many years. We will spare no effort to protect and develop the investments of the LIA”.
The news was also welcomed by the incumbent caretaker prime minister in Tripoli, Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba. ‘‘I congratulate the Libyan people on the issuance of the ruling of the Supreme Court in France nullifying and lifting the seizures signed on the funds of the Libyan Investment Authority by the Al-Kharafi Group, stressing the independence of the financial disclosure of the institution, and I thank everyone who contributed to this important achievement to protect Libyan funds abroad.’’