The Libyan transitional government on Friday won possession of a plush London mansion belonging to a son of the late Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
High Court judge Andrew Popplewell said he was satisfied that the swanky eight-bedroom neo-Georgian house was "wrongfully and unlawfully" purchased by 38-year-old Saadi Kadhafi's company using Libyan state funds.
The house, in the exclusive Hampstead Garden Suburb district of north London, was worth in excess of £10 million ($15.7 million, 12 million euros).
The property, in a secluded, leafy close surrounded by some of Britain's most expensive residential streets, boasts an indoor swimming pool, a Jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms and a basement cinema room with a four-metre wide screen.
It has a lacquered black and white kitchen, Venetian-polished plaster work, a coded key pad to the front door, underfloor heating and a control system operating the lighting, fireplace, curtains and blinds.
Saadi Kadhafi was said to be aware of the proceedings but did not contest them.
Popplewell directed that CSL, registered in the British Virgin Islands, should convey legal estate in the house to Libya.
Popplewell was told by lawyer Gregory Mitchell, representing the Libyan government, that CSL bought the house in May 2009 with money that came from state funds.
He said that the order would provide justice for Libya and give effect to a February 2011 United Nations Security Council resolution that assets should be returned to its people, as well as giving effect to the underlying policy of the European Union and the British government.
"We say this is a very exceptional case and it is a case where you can be satisfied it is right to grant the relief we are seeking," said counsel.
The order is subject to consent from Britain's Treasury.
Libyan squatters took over the house in March last year as the rebellion against Kadhafi's rule grew.
It was put up for sale again at a price of £10.95 million as the Libyan crisis unfolded, though it was soon taken off the market. It was also listed as available to rent at £9,750 a week.
Source: AFP Global Edition