UK judge delays battle over leadership of Libya wealth fund

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LONDON (AP) — A British judge has adjourned a hearing on rival claims to head Libya's $67 billion sovereign wealth fund, saying Monday that he expects Libya to clarify the situation soon.

Hassan Bouhadi and Abdulmagid Breish both claim to be chairman of the Libyan Investment Authority.

Libya has splintered since Moammar Gadhafi was deposed in 2011, with two rival governments vying for control and Islamic State group-linked militants gaining in strength amid the chaos.

Tripoli-based Breish claims to be the authority's legitimate head, but Bouhadi says he was appointed by the internationally recognized government based in eastern Libya.

Judge William Blair — brother of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair — said Monday he was adjourning the case after being informed by Britain's Foreign Office that "there may be clarification of the leadership of the LIA" from Libya's internationally recognized parliament "within the coming weeks."

Blair has been asked to decide which man is the legitimate head of the authority so that it can proceed with a lawsuit against Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale over alleged mismanagement of funds. Both banks deny the claim.