Managing Libya's $67bn Sovereign Wealth Fund

He was cleared by the Court of Appeal earlier this year, but in the meantime the country had fractured and the new internationally-recognised government in Tobruk, under Abdullah al-Thinni, had appointed Hassan Bouhadi as Chairman of the LIA. Breish believes his appointment is still legally valid, and says he has operational control of the organisation:

“[Mr Bouhadi] has no de facto power over LIA, the only thing is he set up an office in Malta ... Our counterparties know where all the business is happening ... they recognise Tripoli head office as being the LIA ... They know who has the background - if you look at the CVs of the people involved [in the rival LIA], they know nothing about financial affairs or finance or legal or the investment sector."

And he says he is adamant that the LIA should not be aligned with either of the rival governments:

“I'm saying LIA should retain its neutrality, LIA should steer away from political infighting, we're not funding either government, we're staying above that."

His opponents, similarly, pull no punches. A statement from Mr Bouhadi's LIA said "Mr Breish suggested that this [court] judgement reinstated him. An assessment of the judgement by an experienced lawyer in Malta said that it did nothing of the sort."

Tobruk's Charge d’Affaires to Malta issued a circular to government ministries and financial institutions saying:

“Mr Abdulmagid Breish does not represent the LIA or the Libyan Government and has no legal capacity in relation to the LIA or the legitimate Libyan Government and in no way represents them.

“Furthermore the Embassy warns that any company or institution from dealing with said Mr Breish … will face the necessary legal action and liability.”

Just as for the country of Libya, the weeks and months ahead look set to be very interesting for the LIA and Mr Breish, and possibly no less complicated.

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