March 30 The Libyan Investment Authority has
accused France's second-biggest bank Societe Generale
of funnelling bribes worth tens of millions of dollars to
associates of Saif al-Islam, the son of former Libyan leader
Muammar Gaddafi, the Financial Times reported late Sunday.
"Societe Generale contests the unfounded allegations in the
Libyan Investment Authority's (LIA) complaint," a spokeswoman
for the bank said in an emailed statement, without giving more
The newspaper said the LIA has filed a $1.5 billion lawsuit
against the bank in London's High Court. (link.reuters.com/sur97v)
Acccording to the FT, the LIA alleges that SocGen paid at
least $58 million to Leinada, a Panamanian-registered company,
for advisory services related to $2.1 billion of derivative
trades that the Libyan sovereign wealth fund entered into with
SocGen between late 2007 and 2009.
The LIA's legal filing claims that Leinada did not have the
expertise to advise or structure such deals, the newspaper
The FT said that the LIA claims to have suffered heavy
losses in the deals with SocGen, and is seeking to have the
trades voided to recoup the money allegedly paid to Leinada and
to be awarded damages for the alleged fraud.
"This claim, together with the one against Goldman Sachs
that was initiated in January 2014, reflects the desire of the
LIA's new board of directors to redress previous wrongs and seek
the recovery of these substantial funds as it seeks to invest
and generate wealth for the people of Libya," AbdulMagid Breish,
chairman of the LIA told the FT.
He added that "the former Libyan regime left behind many
challenges in its wake. The LIA is resolved to address these
challenges, and to develop a new strategy for the future. The
board has embarked on a short to medium-term transformation
programme to strengthen the LIA and to enhance its corporate
governance in accordance with best practices, enabling the
institution to invest wisely for the future."
(Reporting by Aashika Jain in Bangalore; Editing by Eric Walsh)