The British “Middle East Eye” website revealed that the family of the retired Libyan general; Khalifa Haftar quietly liquidated her portfolio of US property against the backdrop of prosecution in US courts.
The website said in a report translated by “Arabi 21” that Haftar’s son, who lives in the United States, bought a five-bedroom, six-bathroom, 7,300-square-foot house in Great Falls, Virginia, sold 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 Haftar of war crimes to proceed, following a months-long hiatus in legal proceedings.
Since then, the website said, Khalifa Haftar’s legal prospects have worsened. On July 29, a federal judge ruled against Haftar, responsible for war crimes, as the court now assesses a compensation package for the plaintiffs.
“We will now move to the damage stage, and we will seize (Haftar’s) property wherever we can find it in the world,” said Mark Zeid, a lawyer representing a group of plaintiffs.
Haftar owns a large portfolio of international real estate, including at least one mansion in an upscale suburb of Amman, Jordan, along with properties in the United Arab Emirates, according to a family member.
Khalifa Haftar is being tried under the Torture Victims Protection Act of 1991. The law allows family members of victims of extrajudicial killings and torture committed by individuals acting in an official government capacity to prosecute those responsible.
Also read: The US federal court found Khalifa Haftar guilty of war crimes
In past cases, it has been difficult for victims to claim damages, and foreign leaders accused of human rights abuses and corruption have often built their assets behind shell companies to hide their fortunes. It is also difficult for US courts to seize foreign assets.
According to court documents, the Haftar family owned at least 17 properties in the Virginia area alone, and the property was first reported in a Wall Street Journal article that cited an asset tracking document compiled by private consultants who provided by the Libyan government.
Middle East Eye revealed that Haftar has sold nine properties in the Virginia area, including the home in Great Falls Virginia, according to public real estate records.
Six properties, including two suburban homes in Bristow, Virginia, sold between 2019 and 2020 for $680,000 and $715,000, and in October 2020, a four-bedroom home in Ashburn, Virginia sold for $702,100.
Another property for sale in Bristow, Virginia is a 3,600-square-foot, four-bedroom colonial-style home that sold for $620,000 last November.
According to court documents, 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. The other property in Virginia is owned by a limited liability company. is controlled by his son, Oqba Haftar.
The 17 Virginia properties were held by three companies: Eastfield Holdings, Alexamton Investments and Eastern Brothers Group.
Also read: What is the result of an American court finding Haftar guilty of war crimes?
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.
The remaining eight properties combined were valued at about $4,014 million, nearly half of the $8 million estimated in preliminary court documents that referenced the 17 properties.
The US-Libyan coalition announced at the end of last month that they had obtained a judgment from a US federal court in Virginia, condemning Haftar in the cases brought against him for war crimes.
The Executive Director of the US-Libyan Alliance, Mosaddeq Habrara, said that the verdict against Haftar is “final and now” and that he was found guilty in all the cases brought against him by the families of the victims, stressing that the verdict serves as a “message to all criminals in Libya that the judiciary takes time. But the truth prevails in the end.
Habrara confirmed in an exclusive statement to “Arabi 21” that the verdict involves Khalifa Haftar paying compensation to all the families of the victims for all the crimes he committed against them, and this compensation, their value and percentage will be in determine a series of upcoming trials related to compensation.
Seven Libyan families filed lawsuits against Haftar in a Virginia court, accusing him of committing torture and war crimes between 2016 and 2017.
The lawsuit relates to the siege by Haftar’s forces of the Ganfouda neighborhood of Benghazi for months while his forces waged a military campaign in the city, Benghazi, under the pretext of fighting terrorism.
About 150 Libyan families, living in the aforementioned neighborhood, suffered a suffocating siege by Haftar’s forces for more than nine months, amidst the lava of shells and explosive barrels, before Haftar, in January 2017, took full control of the neighborhood announced, while Libyan and international circles described the siege Massacre against the civilian population.