UK court orders handover of Saadi Gaddafi mansion to Libyan government

A U.K. court has granted the Libyan government possession of a $16 million London mansion previously owned by Saadi Gaddafi, the son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. 

The court said the mansion had been bought with oil money stolen from the Libyan government.

Saadi Gaddafi bought the Hampstead Garden house, which has eight bedrooms, an indoor pool, jacuzzi and suede-lined home cinema, just months before protests that eventually led to the overthrow and death of his father erupted, The New York Times reported

The younger Gaddafi, a national soccer player under his father's regime, was known for hosting cocaine-fueled parties and prostitutes at the house, the paper said. 

He now is reported to be in Niger, whose government has rejected Libya's extradition efforts. 

A shell company controlled by him has 14 days to hand the property over, Metro UK reported

The case is the first of what is expected to be many post-Arab Spring cases that will aim to recover illegally gotten assets on behalf of Libya's new government. The Gaddafi family, for example, has several properties in the U.K. and other assets around the world, Metro UK said. 

"This ruling signals the end of the era of impunity for dictators and their families who loot state resources for their personal benefit," London lawyer Mohamed Shaban told Reuters.

He represented Libya's new National Transitional Council, which came to power after the senior Gaddafi was overthrown, in the case.

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