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Paris Appeals Court rules in favor of Libyan Investment Authority against Kuwaiti group

March 6, 2023

By: Abdulkader Assad

Africa Intelligence website said the legal battle between Kuwaiti construction company Al Kharafi and the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) rumbled on before the Paris Court of Appeal which rejected the latest legal moves in the Kuwait firm's battle with LIA and upheld a ruling that cancelled the freezing of some of the LIA's bank accounts.The website said the decision came after a lower court in September dismissed the firm's bid to seize some of the sovereign wealth fund's assets. On 2 February, the appeals court rejected Al Kharafi's new requests, which challenged the prerogative enjoyed by Treasury, whose green light is required to carry out seizures authorised by a judge.  Al Kharafi's request for a referral to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) was also rejected and the Kuwaiti group was ordered to pay €8,000 to the LIA and to reimburse its legal costs. The appeals court also confirmed a February 2022 ruling by a lower court that annulled the October 2020 seizure of LIA assets held at Société Générale and ordered the construction firm to pay €20,000." Africa Intelligence explained.It added that the background of this legal battle relates to the cancellation of a contract signed in 2006 by Al Kharafi and the Libyan state to build a tourist project in Janzour, in the suburbs of Tripoli. The Kuwaiti company has since claimed nearly a billion dollars in compensation from the LIA and has been trying to seize the fund's Paris assets in line with an arbitration ruling issued in Cairo in 2013. These include one of the outlets of French retail chain Fnac, estimated to be worth more than €250m, and around €150m in financial assets.

Source: The Libya Observer

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