Monday, 30 July 2012

Libya: Aman dropped from blacklist

Aman Bank, which is 40 per cent owned by Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo, has been removed from the National Transitional Council's (NTC) blacklist of companies whose assets were frozen under a guardianship law while they were investigated for possible corruption and links to the Qadhafi regime.

The assets of 260 individuals and 78 companies were originally sequestered under Law 37, which was passed by the NTC in May. This was one of several controversial measures adopted by the interim authority in the last months of its existence that may well be revisited by the newly elected National Congress.

The list of affected companies and individuals has already been substantially reduced after widespread protests. Some of those originally included were able to point convincingly to the lack of evidence against them. Since then further efforts have been made to remove others from the list whose inclusion is unnecessary.

The inclusion of private companies – in particular a bank such as Aman, which is backed by European capital – was highly controversial. The bank's removal therefore comes as no surprise, but another private finance company, Wafa Bank, remains on the list.

The bulk of those who remain are family members and others with strong Qadhafi affiliations. The list also includes institutions such as the Economic and Social Development Fund, which was part of the financial apparatus of the Jamahiriya.

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.

© 2012 Menas Associates

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