MILAN: Italian tax police have seized 1.1 billion euros of assets belonging to members of the Gaddafi family, including stakes in top Italian companies, bank deposits and a Harley Davidson, at the request of the International Criminal Court.
In a statement on Wednesday, police said the assets included stakes in Italy's largest bank UniCredit, oil and gas giant Eni, defence group Finmeccanica, carmaker Fiat, truck-maker Fiat Industrial and Turin-based soccer club Juventus.
Bank deposits, a chunk of forest on the Mediterranean island of Pantelleria and two motorbikes including the Harley Davidson were also seized.
Lieutenant Colonel Gavino Putzu told Reuters all the assets seized were held by Libya's sovereign fund, the Libyan Investment Authority, on behalf of the Gaddafi family.
He said the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague had ordered the seizure of assets worldwide in view of possible compensation claims by victims of Muammar Gaddafi's rule in Libya following his overthrow last year.
"The assets will be administered by a special commissioner to be appointed by a Rome court," Putzu said. "All the companies involved have been notified."
Italy, Libya's former colonial ruler, was once Gaddafi's closest European ally but the government of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi abruptly switched sides last April after the start of the NATO bombing campaign.
Rome has maintained strong business ties with Tripoli's new rulers, and Eni remains the biggest foreign oil producer in Libya.
Putzu said the company stakes seized included 1.25 percent of UniCredit, 0.58 percent of Eni, around 2 percent of Finmeccanica, and 0.33 percent in both Fiat and Fiat Industrial.
The ICC has indicted Saif al-Islam, son and one-time heir apparent of Libya's fallen leader, in June 2011 for crimes against humanity during a crackdown on the Libyan revolt.
Libya has insisted he will be tried at home and be given a fair hearing, but the ICC may insist that he be sent to the Hague.
The court has also indicted Gaddafi's intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, arrested in Mauritania earlier this month, for crimes against humanity. AGENCIES