facing bribery lawsuit over Libyan deals: Financial Times
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[March 31, 2014]
(Reuters) — The Libyan Investment Authority has accused France's
second-biggest bank Societe Generale <SOGN.PA> of funneling 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 details.
The newspaper said the LIA has filed a $1.5 billion lawsuit against
the bank in London's High Court. (http://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 reported.
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.
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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 program to strengthen the LIA
and to enhance its corporate governance in accordance with best
practices, enabling the institution to invest wisely for the
(Reporting by Aashika Jain in Bangalore;
editing by Eric Walsh)
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