Bashir Saleh

The Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office has convicted Bashir Saleh, the former office director of Muammar Gaddafi, on charges of participating in a criminal organization and money laundering.

According to the French website Mond Afrique, the court sentenced Saleh to five months in prison, suspended, and ordered approximately $2.4 million confiscation.

The publisher reported that Saleh has been living in South Africa since 2013. He formerly headed the Libyan African Investment Portfolio, with assets of $8 billion, and served as ambassador to Algeria, Central Africa, and Tanzania.

Mond Afrique indicated that the Swiss authorities' interest in Saleh's case stemmed from a company associated with the portfolio.

In 2011, the Swiss Federal Council ruled to freeze all assets of the Gaddafi family and their relatives. The decision was followed by a federal investigation against Hussein, Saleh's son, for allegedly receiving financial sums.

Hussein was accused of receiving a suspicious amount of 2.8 million Swiss Francs from his father. However, the charge was not proven due to the inability of the court at the time to confirm his father's affiliation with a criminal organization.

The Swiss Federal Police described Gaddafi's inner circle as "men of the tent," controlling Libya and its vast natural resources, as per Mond Afrique.

After Gaddafi's fall, Saleh, who sought refuge in France following his arrest in Tunisia, was forced to leave France in 2012 for South Africa, where he was sought by Interpol.

Saleh's name has also been linked to allegations of Gaddafi's financing of Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 French presidential campaign. He is currently in Abu Dhabi, UAE, providing consultancy to the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Libyan and African affairs, according to the website.

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