Libya's sovereign wealth fund is suing French lender Societe Generale
Libya's sovereign wealth fund is suing French bank Societe Generale for $1.5 billion (1.2 billion euros) for allegedly channelling bribes to allies of Moamer Kadhafi's son, in a case hitting the London courts Wednesday.
The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is seeking compensation from the bank and from Walid Giahmi, an alleged associate of Seif al-Islam, for what it says is money that it lost on trades between 2007 and 2009.
Libyan dictator Kadhafi was killed in 2011 during a NATO-backed uprising. Seif was long his father's right-hand man and heir apparent.
The Libyan fund's deposition to the High Court in London, which held a preliminary hearing in the case Wednesday, accuses the French bank of paying at least $58 million to Leinada, a Panamanian-registered company run by Giahmi.
The deposition said that during the same period the LIA invested $2.1 billion in derivative trades with SocGen which have largely suffered "significant losses".
The fund said in a statement: "The LIA states that the trades are void or unenforceable because of acts of bribery and corruption."
It added: "There is no evidence of Leinada providing any legitimate services in relation to any of the disputed trades."
SocGen denies the claims.
"The allegations of the LIA are groundless and Societe Generale will defend its interests as firmly as possible in the context of these proceedings," the bank said Tuesday.