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Italy Seizes Qadhafi Assets Worth $1.5 Billion

Italy's tax police have seized assets worth over EUR 1.1 billion ($1.5 billion) controlled by the family of slain Libyan dictator Moammar Qadhafi including stakes in top Italian companies, real estate and a Harley Davidson motorcycle, local media reported on Wednesday.

A police statement said the confiscated assets also included shares in the country's largest banking group UniCredit, carmaker Fiat, oil major Eni and aerospace and defense giant Finmeccanica.

The seizure followed a request from the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) which is seeking the extradition of Qadhafi's once powerful son Seif al-Islam from Libya on charges of crimes against humanity.

The police also seized a stock in the football club Juventus as well as 150 hectares of forests in the picturesque Italian island Pantelleria in the Mediterranean and an apartment in Rome.

A rogatory commission at the ICC had requested seizure of the assets in the context of investigating Seif Qadhafi and former Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi, also a brother-in-law of the fallen despot.

The assets, believed to have been amassed using the North African country's oil revenue since the 1970s, had already been frozen in the wake of the start of the Libyan uprising.

After eight months of fierce anti-government fighting, which claimed hundreds of lives and ruined the country's economy, Qadhafi was deposed and subsequently killed in October last after being captured by the rebel forces near his home town of Sirte, ending his more than four decades' rule of oil-rich Libya.

by RTT Staff Writer

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