Maltese Court judgement throws out attempt to seize LPTIC
5 June 2015
Malta Civil Court rejects aggressive attempts by Libyan ‘National Salvation Government’ to take over country’s largest telecommunications company and control Maltese operations
A ruling of the First Hall of the Civil Court in Malta under Honourable Judge Lawrence Mintoff this week threw out an attempt by the ‘National Salvation Government’ based in Tripoli, Libya to seize control of the Maltese operation of the Libyan Post, Telecommunications and Information Technology Company (“LPTIC”). The aggressive application for a warrant of prohibitory injunction brought against the company’s chairman, certain members of his staff and LPTIC’s wholly-owned Maltese subsidiary, LPTIC Services Ltd, was dismissed. In his written ruling Honourable Judge Mintoff ruled against granting the injunction on the basis that the claimant had no prima facie right to bring the action, on the basis of LPTIC’s arguments and having heard that:
(a) The applicant represents a group of people that is attempting to usurp the power of the Libyan State over property belonging to the Libyan people;
(b) The applicant’s claim to represent LPTIC has no basis in Libyan law and they are in fact illegitimate, whereas the defendants are the legitimate representatives of LPTIC;
(c) That this case is an attempt by a movement to take control over assets which the Libyan people lawfully hold outside of Libya;
(d) That the Libya Dawn movement is not recognised, and that the House of Representatives is the legitimate governing authority of Libya as recognised by the Government of Malta; and
(e) That granting the application for a warrant of prohibitory injunction would have a prejudicial effect on the interests of LPTIC and the Libyan people.
This ruling came in the same week as Mr Abdulmagid Breish, who also does not have the support of the Libyan House of Representatives, the Libyan Government and the Board of Trustees of the LIA, sought to assert his claim as the chairman of the Libyan Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund which has registered offices in Malta.
With some audacity, but with no legal standing, Mr Breish visited political leaders, government officials and company directors across Malta prosecuting his claim. His only proof of his apparent status being a judgement from a court in Tripoli rendered late last month. Previously excluded from any role in public office, due to his affiliation with the former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Mr Breish suggested that this judgement reinstated him. An assessment of the judgement by an experienced lawyer in Malta said that it did nothing of the sort. The Libyan Charge d’Affaires to Malta issued a circular to government ministries, financial institutions and major companies in Malta to inform them of the false claims by Mr Breish. In this circular, the Libyan Charge d’Affaires stated on Thursday, 4 June 2015:
“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”.
The memo continues: “Furthermore the Embassy warns that any company or institution from dealing with said Mr Breish…will face the necessary legal action and liability.”
For more information please contact Robert Gardener or Claire Davidson, Davidson Ryan Dore, Davidson Ryan Dore:
Robert Gardener: firstname.lastname@example.org or on + 44 7786 471 509
Claire Davidson: email@example.com or on + 44 7767 351 433
For Libyan Post, Telecommunications and Information Technology Company: Akram Rayes, GM of LPTIC Services Ltd (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Notes to Editors
Libyan Post, Telecommunications and Information Technology Company (“LPTIC”) was established in 2009 and it offers postal, telecommunications and information technology services. Its chairman is Feisal Gergab.
The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is the sovereign wealth fund of Libya and has assets and investments valued at $67 billion, the vast majority of which are outside the country.
Deeply embedded within the democratic process of Libya under the government of the House of Representatives and a decree, Law 13 of 2010, the LIA is comprised of a Board of Trustees, which is the ultimate governance body with oversight and control of the LIA, and a Board of Directors, which is the competent body to oversee the management of the LIA.
• The Board of Trustees comprises: ex officio, the Prime Minister (as Chairman); the ministers for Planning, Finance, Economy and Trade and the Governor of the Central Bank of Libya; and “a number of experts” to be appointed by the Government.
• The Board of Directors is made up of seven members, including a Chairman.
• Mr Hassan Bouhadi was appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors on 11 October 2014 by Decree No. 8 of 2014 of the Board of Trustees, constituted by Decree No. 2 of the Council of Ministers of the government formed under the mandate of the House of Representatives.
The House of Representatives Government has been, since its establishment and remains, the only government that is recognised internationally and I set out below some key examples of this widespread international recognition. E.g.:
On 22 September 2014, the governments of Algeria, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union and United Nations, issued a Joint Communique on Libya referring to “the legitimacy of the House of Representatives as the sole legislative authority in Libya”;
On 31 October 2014, the African Union, the Arab League, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States issued a further Joint Communique on Libya referring to “the legitimate Council of Representatives [i.e. the HoR]”.