Gaddafi`s $25 mn Italian hotel complex seized

Before his death, Muammar al-Gaddafi was rumoured to be planning to build a holiday village on Pantelleria.

Rome: A EUR 20 million (USD 25 million) hotel complex and land owned in Italy by the family of slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi have been seized.

The complex is on the picturesque southern island of Pantelleria.

Before his death, Gaddafi was rumoured to be planning to build a holiday village on Pantelleria, located halfway between Sicily and the Tunisian coast and famed for its crystalline blue waters and unspoilt beaches.

Wednesday`s seizures on Pantelleria were ordered by a Rome court following the EUR 1.1 billion of Gaddafi family assets impounded by Italian tax police in March.

That seizure was made at a request by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which is seeking the extradition of Gaddafi`s son, Saif al-Islam, on charges of crimes against humanity.

Among the assets seized in March held by Libyan sovereign wealth funds was a 1.3 percent stake in Italy`s largest bank, UniCredit, and a 0.6 percent stake in oil major Eni, the top foreign energy producer in Libya.

Under Gaddafi, Libya briefly held the biggest single stake in UniCredit.

Other confiscated stocks included a two percent stake of Italian aerospace and defence giant Finmeccanica, a 0.3 percent stake in car maker Fiat and truck maker Fiat Industrial.

Police said they also confiscated stock in Serie A football club Juventus, where one of Gaddafi`s sons, Saadi, who is now reportedly hiding in Niger, used to be on the board.

The assets -- a business empire built by Gaddafi starting in the 1970s -- had already been frozen after the start of the Libyan conflict last year. Police said it took time to work out the exact owners of the funds.