The Gaddafi condo: Redecorated at SNC-Lavalin’s expense, luxury Toronto suite sits unused amid UN inaction

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The Gaddafis misplaced Libya in 2011, when insurgent fighters captured and killed longtime dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. However the household nonetheless holds a small patch of territory in Canada’s largest metropolis.

“No person comes, no person goes,” the property supervisor at 10 Navy Wharf Ct., who requested to not be recognized by identify, mentioned of the 40th-floor apartment in Toronto’s Leisure District.

“It simply sits there.”


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The luxurious unit is a remnant of Gaddafi extra. Saadi Gaddafi purchased it throughout a three-month go to to Canada in 2008.

A basic within the Libyan particular forces and briefly knowledgeable soccer participant, however finest often known as Col. Gaddafi’s playboy son, he paid $1.55 million.

The hosts of his Canadian junket, executives at SNC-Lavalin, spent one other $200,000 redecorating it for his or her visitor, the RCMP alleged in an software for a warrant to go looking the corporate’s Montreal workplace.

However whereas the dictator’s son is now imprisoned in Libya, property data point out he nonetheless owns the unit, which has turn out to be the topic of a world stalemate involving the United Nations Safety Council, Libya, Canada and the Ontario courts.

Saadi Gaddafi (proper) with King Abdallah II of Jordan on August 30, 1999. Picture by Balkis Press/ABACA.

For the reason that Gaddafi regime was overthrown in a revolution backed by NATO air energy, the Libyan authorities has been making an attempt to determine and recuperate the property the household stashed world wide over 4 many years.

The apartment on Lake Ontario, in a tower subsequent to the house discipline of the Toronto Blue Jays, is amongst these property.

Paperwork obtained by World Information present the Libyan authorities went earlier than the Ontario Superior Court docket of Justice to argue the apartment was rightfully the property of the Libyan state.

The courtroom agreed and ordered the possession transferred to Libya.


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There was, nevertheless, a complication: the Gaddafi household’s property had been frozen by the United Nations Safety Council throughout the 2011 armed battle.

Saadi Gaddafi was included on the asset-freezing listing because of his shut affiliation with the regime and “command of navy models concerned in repression of demonstrations.”

In consequence, Libya can’t take possession of the apartment till the 15-member Safety Council‘s Libya sanctions committee unanimously agrees to unfreeze it.

United Nations Security Council members meeting at the UN headquarters in New York, Dec. 18, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

United Nations Safety Council members assembly on the UN headquarters in New York, Dec. 18, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

“There’s a courtroom order in place to have the property transferred, topic to approval by the UN, and we’re ready for that to happen,” mentioned Gar Knutson, the Ottawa lawyer and former federal cupboard minister representing Libya.

“The order takes impact as soon as the committee on the UN offers its approval. And that course of may be very gradual.”

UN data present the committee has mentioned a request by Canada for an exemption to the Libya property freeze, most not too long ago in November 2017. However it has nonetheless not given its okay.

“Canada commonly discusses its precedence points with members of the us however doesn’t at the moment maintain a seat on it,” mentioned Stefano Maron, a World Affairs Canada spokesperson.

“We sit up for the approval of the us committee in order that we will return the condominium unit to the individuals of Libya as quickly as doable.”

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Now 45, the dictator’s son has not set foot in his Canadian apartment since 2009, when he was on the town for the Toronto Worldwide Movie Pageant and hosted a celebration attended by the American rapper 50 Cent.

He fled Tripoli as his father’s regime fell and ended up in Niger. He tried to discover a nation by which to reside in exile. The RCMP alleged in its search warrant software that SNC-Lavalin executives had financed a failed plot to smuggle him to Mexico.

He ultimately returned to Libya, the place he stays behind bars.


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However his relationship with SNC-Lavalin has immediately resurfaced because the backdrop to the political troubles which have shaken the federal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau following the resignations of two senior cupboard ministers, Judy Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott.

The scandal issues whether or not Trudeau’s workplace improperly pressured Wilson-Raybould, when she was the lawyer basic, to defer prosecution of SNC-Lavalin for bribery and corruption in Libya.

Looming within the background, nevertheless, is Saadi Gaddafi, who “acted within the position of chief of Libya,” based on an RCMP doc summarizing a 2012 assertion by the highest Libyan diplomat in Canada on the time, Sulaiman Mohamed.

“There have been no limits to his energy,” mentioned the abstract, which was filed in courtroom when the RCMP sought to grab the financial institution accounts of a number of former SNC-Lavalin executives.

He additionally paid for nothing.

“When Saadi Gaddafi was in Canada, both SNC-Lavalin or the Libyan Embassy would cowl his bills,” the abstract mentioned.

After he purchased his Toronto apartment, SNC-Lavalin executives paid $202,333 to a neighborhood design agency, the RCMP alleged in its search warrant software. The cash was for redecoration prices for the apartment, the RCMP alleged, including the executives paid his apartment charges as effectively.

The entrance to the Toronto building where Saadi Gaddafi still owns a 40th-floor condo.

The doorway to the Toronto constructing the place Saadi Gaddafi nonetheless owns a 40th-floor apartment.

Stewart Bell

Firm executives additionally financed luxurious yachts for Saadi Gaddafi and transferred tens of hundreds of thousands of to firms he managed as a reward for “having influenced the awarding of main contracts” to SNC-Lavalin, RCMP investigators alleged of their warrant software.

The executives the RCMP alleged had been concerned with the apartment, Riadh Ben Aissa and Stéphane Roy, had been faraway from the corporate in 2012. Ben Aissa pleaded responsible in 2014, and costs in opposition to Roy had been not too long ago stayed because of delays in his prosecution.

Following an investigation referred to as Mission Help, SNC-Lavalin itself was charged in 2015, however the case has not gone to trial and the corporate says the people accountable needs to be prosecuted reasonably than the corporate.

Saadi Gaddafi waits outside a courtroom in Tripoli, Libya, Dec. 6, 2015. EPA/STRINGER

Saadi Gaddafi waits outdoors a courtroom in Tripoli, Libya, Dec. 6, 2015. EPA/STRINGER

Corporations weren’t the one ones accommodating the Gaddafis at the moment. The Canadian authorities not solely allowed family members to enter the nation however mentioned it was “happy to welcome” Col. Gaddafi when he deliberate a stopover in Newfoundland in 2009.

“Our political dialogue with Libya is increasing, and we want to develop new financial initiatives,” the federal government mentioned in a doc launched below the Entry to Info Act, which referred to Libya as a “associate for Canadian efforts in Africa.”

The Canadian doc was drafted shortly after the Libyan agent liable for bombing Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270, returned to Tripoli to a hero’s welcome by Gaddafi’s authorities.

In the meantime, based on the Toronto property supervisor, realtors and potential patrons sometimes ask about Gaddafi’s apartment, however he turns them away due to its unresolved standing, so it sits unused.

“It’s like a museum, I suppose.”

[email protected]

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