Asset Recovery Watch

ARW-137
Muammar el-Qaddafi / Saadi Quaddafi / London Mansion Case
Libya
President (1969-2011)
United Kingdom
Location of Recovery Effort, Asset Location / Alleged Asset Location
2011
Art.17, Art.23
Yes
Private Civil Action
The case marks the first international asset recovery by Libya; contributing factors included (1) media publicity surrounding the purchase of the mansion by Mr. Qaddafi's son; (2) wide disparity between Mr. Saadi Qaddafi's official salary as a member of the armed forces and the purchase price of the mansion, as well as strict bar on ownership of foreign property by members of Libyan armed forces; and (3) failure of Mr. S. Qaddafi and Capitana Seas Limited to appear and challenge the suit. (Source: Phone interview with Libya's UK attorney in the suit.)
Completed
Assets Returned to Victim or Requesting Jurisdiction
$14,200,000 (approximate value of mansion)
No
N/A

According to a Judgment by the United Kingdom's High Court of Justice, Libya was granted a default judgment against Capitana Seas Limited, the legal owner of a mansion located at 7 Winnington Close, Hampstead Gardens Suburb, London N2 0UA.  The Justice in the case wrote, "I am satisfied, on the evidence which has been put before me, that Saadi Quaddafi is the sole ultimate beneficial owner of the Defendant company [Capitana Seas Limited] [and that] the property was wrongfully and unlawfully purchased with funds belonging to [Libya].  In those circumstances, the beneficial interest in the property is held by the Defendant, for the Claimant, as constructive trustees."  (Source:  Between The State of Libya and Capitana Seas Limited, [2012] EWHC 602 (Com).]  The British media had reported on the purchase of the mansion by Capitana Seas Limited, a British Virgin Islands registered entity, and when sanctions were imposed against Mr. Qaddafi's assets in the UK, the property was included on the sanctions list.  (Source:  Libya's UK attorney in the case; see also,  Christopher Leake and Daniel Bouffe, "Colonel Gaddafi's son buys £10m Hampstead mansion," MailOnline, August 23, 2009.)

Mr. Qaddafi passed away on October 20, 2011 (Source: New York Times, "Muammar el Qaddafi"); as of October 31, 2011 cases in investigatory stage as to other individuals and entities.

Mohamed Shaban (MS- Legal Solicitors)
High Court of Justice, Commercial Cour