Belgian official accused of receiving bribe to interfere in Prince Laurent's favor in the case of frozen Libyan funds

Alwasat - Cairo Tue 09 Feb 2021, 09:57 PM
alwasat radio

Belgian prosecutors are investigating an official accused of receiving a "€50,000 bribe" in 2017 to intervene in the case of frozen Libyan funds for Prince Laurent, according to an investigation.

The chairman of the National Railway Company of Belgium, Jean-Claude Fontinoy, is under investigation by the Brussels prosecutor's office for alleged corruption in the Libyan money file, according to the Belgian newspaper Le Soir and the French magazine Paris Match.

According to a sworn statement, Fontinoy, who was the right-hand man to federal foreign affairs minister and European Commissioner Didier Reynders, received a €50,000 bribe four years ago by a businessman "to find a political solution between Prince Laurent and Libya".

Prince Laurent worked with Libya as part of his cooperation with the global trust fund for Sustainable Development, which he managed, and was tasked with affording swathes of desert land in northern Libya. After losing the contract, Prince Laurent filed a case before a Belgian court that issued a final ruling in 2014 and determined he was owed damages by the Libyan state "for breach of contract."

When asked about the matter, Reynders, now EU Commissioner for justice, commented, “This is not the first time I have heard comments on this subject, but I have no information.”

Fontinoy has served in key positions of the Belgian state, is chairman of the National Railway Company of Belgium, has been a political and financial mediator, and a member of the cabinet.

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