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French Investment Firm and Libya’s 2.1 Billion Dollar Lawsuit Pushed to April 2017

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)


After a three-day hearing London’s High Court set a date for the lawsuit between the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) and Societe Generale (SocGen), a French investment bank, over the $67 billion investment of Libya’s sovereign wealth. The date set is April 25, 2017 four months after the original court date.

The LIA is suing SocGen for $2.1 billion for trades that went south back in 2007 and 2009. The LIA claims that the investments were made under “fraudulent and corrupt scheme”.

SocGen denies the LIA’s claims saying it rejects the accusations and “any claim tending to question the lawfulness of these investments.

SocGen lawyers made the request to the court to delay the start date of the trail because they claim to have a large load of preparation they need to do for the trail.

LIA lawyers put in a request for further information to define what they describe as code words that were used by SocGen employees.

The LIA is said to have submitted a court document that mentions some of the code words used and who or what they could be referring to. The document explains that one code word used by SocGen “Zorro” could be referring to Mustafa Zarti, the LIA’s deputy executive director back in 2007 and 2009. Another code word, “the Doctor”, seems to refer to Walid Giahmi, a Libyan businessman who was also involved in the trade. Another code word that seem to be referring to transactions and other events are “biscuits”, “pizza” or “cooking”.  

The LIA argues that the code words are proof that SocGen was not transparent with the LIA about how it was investing the LIA’s money and their actions are “strongly suggestive of fraud or other impropriety”.

Giahmi’s company Lenaida, that is registered in Panama, was said to have received a payment of $58.5 million from the LIA’s trades through SocGen.

A SocGen spokesperson in the court session on Wednesday said they agreed to define the code words that were used by October 7.

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