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MALTATODAY 15 August 2021

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 15 AUGUST 2021 8 NEWS MATTHEW VELLA A Libyan fashion designer has told a Maltese court that the son of the late dictator Muammar Gaddafi – Muatassim Gaddafi – would have indeed got married to the Dutch model Lisa Van Goinga, sometime in 2011. The Gaddafi family is fighting a bid from the Libyan Attor- ney General to lay claim to a €90 million fortune amassed by Gaddafi and held at the Bank of Valletta, insisting that the money belongs to Gaddafi's rightful heirs, which include a son by Van Goinga. Nabil Younes Saleh, a fash- ion designer toasted in Paris and Lebanon, told the court he knew back in 2011 that Gaddafi intended marrying Van Goin- ga sometime in January 2011, right before the Libyan revolu- tion toppled his father. Saleh was unsure in giving the court a date when the al- leged wedding would have happened, saying that Van Goinga had spoken to him about the relationships. "Lisa got married with Mutassim in 2011 in (an) Islamic marriage... Because I can't remember the date but I know they got mar- ried in Sirte, Libya, and I can't remember exactly the date of the marriage." The claims are central to the Gaddafi defence, which are represented by the Cypri- ot lawyer Charilaos Oikono- mopoulos and Louis Cassar Pullicino. Oikonomopoulos is tasked by Muammar Gadd- afi's widow Safia Ferkash, to prevent the Libyan state from obtaining the release of the funds, held by a Maltese com- pany called Capital Resources and Mezen International. In court, Oikonomopoulos presented a Dutch court doc- ument officialising the wed- ding of Muatassim Gaddafi to Dutch glamour model Lisa van Goinga, who bore Gaddafi a son and heir on 4 February 2012, just months after Mutas- sim's death at the hands of Lib- yan government rebels. Oikonomopoulos is present- ing witnesses who were close friends of the late Muatassim to attest as to the origin of his millions. "In all discussions I had... not one single member of the family, not one single friend of Muatassim was under the per- ception, let along the knowl- edge, that the funds in Capital Resources Ltd... were 'prov- idence'. They all confirmed that this money was made by a gentleman whose name was not Oikonomopoulos, but Gaddafi; while not in his fa- ther's favours, while not in the government of the state of Lib- ya, for internal family reasons apparently," the Cypriot lawyer told the court. "He was allowed to trav- el worldwide and pick up the phone and speak with Presi- dents, Prime Ministers of dif- ferent countries, arrange for [provisions] of different goods and services, and hence get commissions which were put in... Mezen International, and then transferred to Capital Re- sources, being a transparent company with a director, and beneficial owner being Mua- tassim Gaddafi himself." Muatassim Gaddafi died at the Battle of Sirte after being captured by anti-Gaddafi forc- es on 20 October, 2011. He was later executed along with his father. He was 36. Most Gaddafi family mem- bers remain unable to travel due to an international ban and asset freeze. Gaddafi's representative Saleh Drah was introduced to Bank of Valletta by Joe Sam- mut, for a meeting with then CEO Charles Borg. According to bank witnesses, due dili- gence on the company Cap- ital Resources was based on the bank's prior knowledge of Gaddafi's activity from anoth- er company account he held at the bank. A United Nations panel of experts in Libya analysing the bank accounts of Capital Re- sources found some €55 mil- lion transferred to it from the company Mezen International. But the main source of funding for Mezen was a third com- pany, Moncada International, which in 2010 transferred over €40 million to Mezen. Gaddafi also had various Vi- sa platinum accounts, holding €122,770, €84,587, a €22,403 Bank of Valletta gold Visa, and another BOV platinum hold- ing €61,118. Fashion designer testifies in Gaddafi Malta millions case Nabil Saleh Younes (centre) testified in favour of the Gaddafi family, telling a Maltese court that he had intimate knowledge of the alleged marriage of the last Muatassim Gaddafi (right) to the Dutch glamour model Lisa Van Goinga. The Gaddafis are fighting off a claim in Malta by the Libyan Attorney General to secure some €90 million Gaddafi had in Maltese bank accounts 94 new COVID-19 cases were registered on Satur- day, figures published by the health ministry show. The total number of deaths now stands at 430, after an 85-year-old woman died while COVID-19 positive. Active cases stand at 696 after 120 recoveries were registered. 38 coronavirus patients are currently being treated at Mater Dei Hospital, of which four are in the ITU. The average age of cases registered in the 24 hours up to noon on Saturday is 38. 3,598 swab tests were carried out in the same 24 hours, bringing the total number of swabs to 1,136,982. Until Friday, 783,983 vaccine doses were admin- istered, of which 407,679 were first doses. 403,213 people are fully vaccinated. COVID-19 94 new cases, 1 death recorded

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