Gaddafi’s widow appeals Maltese court’s decision to send funds to Libya | Court News
Safiya Ferkash claims Malta has no jurisdiction over funds deposited by her late son Mutassim Gaddafi.
The widow of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has appealed a Maltese court ruling ordering Bank of Valletta to return to Libya some 95 million euros ($100 million) deposited by the deceased Gaddafi’s son, Mutassim, court officials said.
Safiya Ferkash and her lawyers argue in their appeal that the courts lacked jurisdiction and could not decide the case over the funds.
The sentence was pronounced at the end of June after a legal battle that began in 2012, a year after the overthrow and assassination of Gaddafi.
Mutassim, who was also killed, was found in possession of several Bank of Valletta (BOV) credit cards as the owner of a company registered in Malta. The Libyan state had accused BOV of failing to perform the due diligence checks that should have prevented Gaddafi from opening an account in the first place.
The appeal was filed on behalf of Gaddafi’s heirs by Maltese lawyer Louis Cassar Pullicino. No hearing date has yet been set.
According to the Times of Malta, the court last month ordered the funds to be returned to the Libyan state.
The funds, held by a Maltese company called Capital Resources Limited, have always been considered by the Libyan government to be illicit gains and not private funds.
The original court had upheld the Libyan attorney general’s arguments that under Libyan law, as an army officer, Mutassim had been prevented from profiting from any business interests.
Moreover, he had not submitted a complete declaration of assets as required by law.
In her appeal, Safiya Ferkash Mohammed argued that the Libyan laws invoked in the case were criminal but that no criminal charges were ever brought against Mutassim Gaddafi or his heirs.
Furthermore, Maltese courts have been asked to grant Libya a remedy under a foreign criminal law when in principle a domestic court cannot apply the criminal law of a foreign state to grant such a remedy.