Middle East Eye: The Haftar family liquidates its properties in America amid compensation demands
Cairo – the gateway to the center Wednesday 10 August 2022, 08:35 p.m
A report by the British “Middle East Eye” website stated that the family of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar “quietly” liquidated his portfolio of American real estate by selling a multi-million dollar home in Virginia, along with a rural house and other six-figure properties with the escalation of “legal problems that have become with it.” The general’s family property is in focus after a US judge ruled that he is responsible for war crimes.”
The report indicates that Oqba Haftar (son of General Khalifa Haftar), who resides in the United States, is selling a five-bedroom, six-bathroom, 7,300-square-foot house in Great Falls, Virginia for $2.55 million, according to public records reviewed by the site.
The sale came less than two weeks after a US judge ordered a lawsuit accusing the general of “war crimes” to go ahead, after legal proceedings were suspended for several months. The report finds that Khalifa Haftar’s legal prospects have worsened after a federal judge issued a judgment in absentia against Haftar on July 29 for his responsibility for war crimes, and the court is now evaluating the compensation package for the plaintiffs.
Target the properties of the Haftar family to compensate the families of the victims
The website quoted the lawyer representing a group of plaintiffs, Mark Zaid, as saying, “We will now move to the damages stage.” “And we will enforce it on property wherever we can find it anywhere in the world.”
The Virginia court settles the controversy over the case against Haftar
A US court gives Haftar two weeks to respond to accusations
The report shows that Haftar “holds a wide portfolio of real estate in several countries, including at least one palace in an upscale suburb in Amman, Jordan, as well as real estate in the United Arab Emirates, according to one of the family’s associates. ” Meanwhile, American holdings came under scrutiny.
As for real estate in the United States, “Middle East Eye” notes that the palace sold by Oqba, Haftar’s son, is described as “modern and elegant”, days after a US judge ruled that his father for war crimes can be prosecuted.
Khalifa Haftar is being prosecuted under the 1991 Torture Protection Act, which allows family members of victims of extrajudicial killings and torture committed by individuals acting in an official government capacity to prosecute those responsible.
In the past, it was difficult for victims to seek compensation because leaders accused of human rights abuses and corruption hoarded their assets behind shell company fronts to hide their wealth, and it was difficult for US courts to seize foreign assets confiscate.
American citizenship.. and ownership of property
The report states that the Haftar family owned at least 17 properties in the Virginia area, according to court documents. The property was first reported in a Wall Street Journal article that cited an asset tracking document compiled by private consultants provided by the Libyan government.
Middle East Eye says it has confirmed the sale of nine properties in the Virginia area, including the home in Great Falls Virginia, according to public real estate records.
He points to the sale of six properties, including two homes in the Bristow Virginia suburbs, for $680,000 and $715,000 between 2019 and 2020. In October 2020, a four-bedroom home in Ashburn, Virginia, sold for $702,000. Another property in Bristow, Va., a 3,600-square-foot, four-bedroom Colonial-style home, sold for $620,000 last November.
And the report cites court documents that Khalifa Haftar personally owns only two properties in the United States — an apartment in the suburbs of Falls Church, Virginia and a three-bedroom ranch in rural Virginia — and the other Virginia properties are owned by a limited liability company controlled by his son, Oqba Haftar.
He points to the sale of the house in Bristow, Virginia, in November 2021 by Abko Investments, a limited liability company controlled by Uqba Haftar, and features granite countertops, crown moldings and oak (Zillow) cabinets.
The report highlights members of the Haftar family, noting that at least two of his sons, Saddam and Khaled, work as officers in the forces led by their father. According to a source familiar with the matter, Saddam was his father’s chief envoy on trips to the United Arab Emirates and Israel.
As for the other son, Belkacem, the report indicates that he is Haftar’s chief political adviser. On the other hand, Haftar’s name was not mentioned in any of the political cases related to his father. Two of Haftar’s sons who live in Libya were named as defendants in one of the lawsuits filed against their father, but a US judge excluded them from the case.
How did the Haftar family keep the property?
The report indicates that the Haftar family initially held the 17 properties in the Virginia area through three companies: Eastfield Holdings, Alexamton Investments and the Eastern Brothers Group.
Over the past two years, the properties have been merged into a new limited liability company, APCO Investments, controlled by Oqba Haftar, according to public records and documents seen by MEE.
Together, he adds, the eight remaining properties are valued at about $4,014 million, about half the $8 million estimated in initial court documents referring to the 17 holdings.
3 lawsuits against Haftar
And between 2019 and 2020, three lawsuits were filed accusing Khalifa Haftar of being responsible for “the bombing of civilians and the torture and execution of prisoners,” following the military operation in western Libya. The report says that Haftar “received varying degrees of support from foreign powers, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, France and Russia.” Some saw him as “a bulwark against Islamist militants and a figure who could bring stability to Libya after a decade of turmoil following Gaddafi’s overthrow.”
The report refers to the phone call Haftar made with former US President Donald Trump in April 2019, which sparked rumors that Washington was throwing its weight behind the general. However, relations between the Trump administration and Haftar soured soon after the call.
Haftar’s allies in Washington
In the context of talking about the strained relationship between Haftar and the US side, the report indicates that the forces allied to Field Marshal Haftar arrested the pilot, Jimmy Spoongel, a veteran of the US Air Force, and he was prevented from with the State Department, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter. Middle East Eye.
The report cites sources as saying that “Sponogl” was released after six weeks “after the intervention of Saudi Arabia on behalf of the United States.” Therefore, the report believes that Haftar “generally has few allies left in Washington,” especially after the war in Ukraine has prompted renewed scrutiny of his relationship with Moscow, citing the receipt of support from Russian “Wagner” mercenaries as well as Chadian and Sudanese fighters.
And the British website cites a source close to the Haftar family as saying that Oqba Haftar has received an offer from the UAE to move there, amid declining US support for his father. But the UAE embassy did not respond to requests for comment from Middle East Eye, which contacted Oqba Haftar by phone and email for a response but received no response.
Great Falls Virginia mansion, which was sold by Uqba, Haftar’s son. (Middle East Eye)
A home in Bristow, Virginia, owned by a limited liability company controlled by Oqba Haftar (Middle East Eye).