USA and EU designate Libyans obstructing the GNA

OFAC has designated another person deemed to be obstructing political progress in Libya and the transition to the Government of National Accord (see previous blog).  Agila Saleh Issa, Libyan Speaker and President of the House of Representatives, is said to have repeatedly blocked votes needed to support Libya’s political transition and stalled the country’s political progress. In the US Treasury’s press release, Acting Director of OFAC John Smith stated that the US “will continue to support Libya’s Government of National Accord and its efforts to build a better and more stable future for the Libyan people”.

Meanwhile the UK House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee has cleared the EU’s decision in March to sanction 3 Libyans said to be opposing the GNA (see previous blog).  Stating that the measures “come at a crucial time for Libya’s political development”, the Committee did not take issue with Minister David Lidington having overridden its scrutiny given the need for quick action.  The Minister’s explanatory memorandum states that the UK fully supports these EU measures, that sanctions are in place “in order to effect changes in behaviour” and that “if the individuals concerned stand with the Libyan people in support of the GNA, instead of opposing and threatening the peace process, consideration could be given” to lifting them.

The Committee’s full report is here.

This entry was posted in Libya, USA by Michael O'Kane. Bookmark the permalink.

About Michael O'Kane

Michael O’Kane is a partner and Head of the Business Crime team at leading UK firm Peters & Peters. Described as ‘first-rate’ (Legal 500 2012), he “draws glowing praise from commentators” (Chambers 2013) for handling the international aspects of business crime, including sanctions, extradition and mutual legal assistance. Called to the Bar in 1992 and prior to joining Peters & Peters he was a senior specialist prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service Headquarters(CPS). At CPS HQ he was a key member of a small specialist unit responsible for the prosecution of serious and high profile fraud, terrorist and special interest criminal matters including the Stansted Airport Afghan hijacking and the prosecution of Paul Burrell (Princess Diana’s butler). Michael joined Peters & Peters in 2002. He became a partner in May 2004, and Head of the Business Crime team in May 2009. Since joining Peters & Peters, Michael has dealt with a wide range of business crime matters. He has particular expertise in international sanctions, criminal cartels, extradition, corruption, mutual legal assistance, and FSA investigations. Described as“ an influential practitioner in fraud and regulatory work, so much so that he is top of the referral lists of many City firms for independent advice for directors” (The Lawyer’s Hot 100 2009), he was recognised as one of the UK’s most innovative lawyers in the 2011 FT Innovative Lawyer Awards and included in the list of the UK's leading lawyers in 'The International Who's Who of Asset Recovery 2012. In 2012 he was the winner of the Global Competition Review Article of the Year. Michael regularly appears on television and radio to discuss his specialist areas and he is the author of the leading textbook on the UK Criminal Cartel Offence “The Law of Criminal Cartels-Practice and Procedure” (Oxford University Press 2009). Recent/Current Sanctions Work • Representing 109 individuals and 12 companies subject to designation by the European Council under targeted measures imposed against Zimbabwe. This is the largest and most complex collective challenge to a sanctions listing ever brought before the European Court. • Acting for a former Egyptian Minister and his UK resident wife, challenging their designation by the European Council of Ministers under targeted measures brought against former members of the Egyptian Government. • Advising a company accused in a UN investigation report to have breached UN sanctions imposed in relation to Somalia. • Advising a UK company in relation to ongoing commercial relationships with an Iranian company listed under both EU and UN sanctions. • Advising an individual in relation to a UK investigation for alleging breaching nuclear export controls.

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