Qaddafi's son faces Libyan court for first time on security charges



TRIPOLI // Seif Al Islam, the son of Libya's former leader, Muammar Qaddafi, appeared for the first time in a Libyan court yesterday on charges of "undermining state security", a judicial official said.

He was charged after a controversial visit to Libya in June by an International Criminal Court (ICC) team who were helping him prepare his defence against ICC charges of carrying out crimes against humanity during the conflict that overthrew his father.

Yesterday's trial was held behind closed doors in Zintan, a hilltop town south-west of Tripoli. Seif has been in custody there since his arrest in November 2011, after the uprising that ended Qaddafi's 40-year rule.

"The first hearing in the trial of Seif Al Islam Qaddafi on charges of undermining state security was held yesterday," said Taha Baraa, deputy prosecutor general.

The accusation was levelled against Seif after four ICC envoys who travelled to Zintan in June were detained for nearly a month, triggering a diplomatic row with The Hague-based court.

They were allowed to return home in July.

The envoys included Melinda Taylor, an Australian lawyer who was accused of carrying a pen that contained a camera and attempting to give Seif a coded letter from his former right-hand man, Mohammed Ismail, who is wanted by Libyan authorities.

Mr Baraa said the trial had been adjourned until May 2 as time was needed to inform the ICC staff of the charges against them, and to "designate a lawyer for Seif".

Yesterday's hearing came as the ICC considered a Libyan request to allow Seif and the former Libyan spy chief, Abdullah Senussi, to be tried at home instead of in The Hague.

Lawyers for Seif and Senussi have argued that they will not get a fair trial in Libya.

Mercer, the investment consulting arm of US services company Marsh & McLennan, expects its wealth division to at least double its assets under management (AUM) in the Middle East as wealth in the region continues to grow despite economic headwinds, a company official said.

Mercer Wealth, which globally has $160 billion in AUM, plans to boost its AUM in the region to $2-$3bn in the next 2-3 years from the present $1bn, said Yasir AbuShaban, a Dubai-based principal with Mercer Wealth.

Within the next two to three years, we are looking at reaching $2 to $3 billion as a conservative estimate and we do see an opportunity to do so,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Mercer does not directly make investments, but allocates clients’ money they have discretion to, to professional asset managers. They also provide advice to clients.

“We have buying power. We can negotiate on their (client’s) behalf with asset managers to provide them lower fees than they otherwise would have to get on their own,” he added.

Mercer Wealth’s clients include sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and insurance companies among others.

From its office in Dubai, Mercer also looks after Africa, India and Turkey, where they also see opportunity for growth.

Wealth creation in Middle East and Africa (MEA) grew 8.5 per cent to $8.1 trillion last year from $7.5tn in 2015, higher than last year’s global average of 6 per cent and the second-highest growth in a region after Asia-Pacific which grew 9.9 per cent, according to consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In the region, where wealth grew just 1.9 per cent in 2015 compared with 2014, a pickup in oil prices has helped in wealth generation.

BCG is forecasting MEA wealth will rise to $12tn by 2021, growing at an annual average of 8 per cent.

Drivers of wealth generation in the region will be split evenly between new wealth creation and growth of performance of existing assets, according to BCG.

Another general trend in the region is clients’ looking for a comprehensive approach to investing, according to Mr AbuShaban.

“Institutional investors or some of the families are seeing a slowdown in the available capital they have to invest and in that sense they are looking at optimizing the way they manage their portfolios and making sure they are not investing haphazardly and different parts of their investment are working together,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Some clients also have a higher appetite for risk, given the low interest-rate environment that does not provide enough yield for some institutional investors. These clients are keen to invest in illiquid assets, such as private equity and infrastructure.

“What we have seen is a desire for higher returns in what has been a low-return environment specifically in various fixed income or bonds,” he said.

“In this environment, we have seen a de facto increase in the risk that clients are taking in things like illiquid investments, private equity investments, infrastructure and private debt, those kind of investments were higher illiquidity results in incrementally higher returns.”

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, said in its 2016 report that has gradually increased its exposure in direct private equity and private credit transactions, mainly in Asian markets and especially in China and India. The authority’s private equity department focused on structured equities owing to “their defensive characteristics.”

J Street Polling Results

97% of Jewish-Americans are concerned about the rise in anti-Semitism

76% of US Jewish voters believe Donald Trump and his allies in the Republican Party are responsible for a rise in anti-Semitism

74% of American Jews agreed that “Trump and the Maga movement are a threat to Jews in America"

Brave CF 27 fight card

Welterweight:
Abdoul Abdouraguimov (champion, FRA) v Jarrah Al Selawe (JOR)

Lightweight:
Anas Siraj Mounir (TUN) v Alex Martinez (CAN)

Welterweight:
Mzwandile Hlongwa (RSA) v Khamzat Chimaev (SWE)

Middleweight:
Tarek Suleiman (SYR) v Rustam Chsiev (RUS)
Mohammad Fakhreddine (LEB) v Christofer Silva (BRA)

Super lightweight:
Alex Nacfur (BRA) v Dwight Brooks (USA)

Bantamweight:
Jalal Al Daaja (JOR) v Tariq Ismail (CAN)
Chris Corton (PHI) v Zia Mashwani (PAK)

Featherweight:
Sulaiman (KUW) v Abdullatip (RUS)

Super lightweight:
Flavio Serafin (BRA) v Mohammad Al Katib (JOR)

'Shakuntala Devi'

Starring: Vidya Balan, Sanya Malhotra

Director: Anu Menon

Rating: Three out of five stars

Challenge Cup result:

1. UAE 3 faults
2. Ireland 9 faults
3. Brazil 11 faults
4. Spain 15 faults
5. Great Britain 17 faults
6. New Zealand 20 faults
7. Italy 26 faults

The specs

Engine: Twin-turbocharged 4-litre V8
Power: 542bhp
Torque: 770Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Price: From Dh1,450,000
On sale: Now

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000


Latest
Most Read
Top Videos