The UN has blamed Belgium for illegally unfreezing late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s government assets, the Belgian Le Soir newspaper reports.
“The UN Security Council’s Libyan Sanctions Committee has ruled that unblocking interests on deposits of the Libyan government of Muammar Gaddafi [at Euroclear Bank in Brussels] runs counter to the sanctions regime," Le Soir said, adding that the ruling was made back on 17 December 2018, but that the document “remained unnoticed”.
Acting Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, for his part, declined to comment on the matter.
The UN ruling comes after the Brussels prosecutor's office reported in December that Belgian investigators interrogated a former finance ministry official in connection with their probe into an alleged withdrawal of several billion euros from Gaddafi’s suspended accounts in Belgian banks.
Earlier, Belgian media reported that there were about 14.2 billion euros ($16.3 billion) in various securities and 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion) in cash belonging to Libya in Euroclear Bank in Brussels, as of late November 2013. However, they have since shrunk to less than 5 billion euros ($5.7 billion).
In February 2011, the United Nations froze all foreign accounts belonging to Gaddafi's government, just months before he was overthrown and killed.
Media reports claimed that the Belgian Finance Ministry was guided by this decision when paying interest on Libyan assets.