Eribi Holdings, Eddie Lister and the Race to Rebuild Libya

Recent events in the Ukraine have turned the spotlight once again on Putin’s influence in British Politics. At the time that Britain and the UN Security Council was preparing to engage in military action against Gaddafi’s forces in Libya in 2011, Boris Johnson, then London’s mayor, backed Putin’s rejection of the No Fly Zone. In 2017, now Foreign Secretary, Johnson backed Putin’s bid to shift the power balance in Libya to ‘strongman’ leader General Haftar — going against the wishes of his own government, Nato and the United Nations. But what’s the deeper relationship between these two events? This ‘Special Relationship’ goes back longer than you think.


At a fringe meeting held at the Conservative Party Conference some five months after the Arena terror attack in October 2017, the British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson reiterated his support for the Haftar regime in the most boorish and insulting of ways, significantly out-crassing the article he had produced in The Spectator magazine that May in which the gaff-prone foreign secretary had paid homage to Libya’s “amazing patrimony of hydro carbons” (oil). [1] Whilst Johnson conceded that Gaddafi may have been a tyrant and a “monster” he now felt compelled to say that Libyans had probably enjoyed a better quality of life under the Colonel’s regime. Libya’s “best hope” now, Johnson went on, was General Haftar, the enemy of the Tripoli militias that both the bomber and his family had been closely associated with, and a man personally being backed by Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates. Rewind to February 2011 and Johnson was backing Putin again, this time asking all his fellow Conservatives vote against military action against Gaddafi. He was joined by only one other Conservative MP — John Baron of Basildon & Billericay, a passionately anti-Islamist member of the Foreign Affairs Committee who would contribute to 2016’s alarm-bell ringing report on British intervention in Libya. [2]

Standing before hundreds of his peers at the Conservative Party Conference, Johnson revived the Libyan fantasies of Saif Gaddafi’s friend, Mohammed bin Rashid when he made overly lavish statements expressing his hopes that the Libyan city, Sirte, which had endured month upon month of violent conflict, could be transformed into “the new Dubai”, before adding rather oafishly that all they had to do first “was clear the dead bodies away”. [3] The Foreign Secretary’s statement received a stiff rebuke from Guma El-Gamaty, leader of the Taghyeer Party and a member of the Libya Political Dialogue group said that the comments had dishonoured the sacrifice of the 750 young Libyan men who had died trying to push ISIS militants from Sirte.[4]

A Group of UK Businessmen

The statement in its entirety is a little more intriguing: “There’s a group of UK business people, actually, some wonderful guys who want to invest in Sirte on the coast … They have got a brilliant vision to turn Sirte into the next Dubai” Regrettably, who these “UK Businessmen” were was never disclosed by Johnson. The whole thing was tossed out for the sake of headlines in his usual flippant and casual way, with little in the way of evidence provided. As this was a principally a construction and renovation project, it might be reasonable to speculate that one of these ‘UK Businessmen’ was Fosroc owner, David Hay, whose wife Fitriani Hay had made a £50,000 donation to Johnson in May 2016. And it’s not as random a guess as one might think, as among Fosroc’s regional sales managers in Dubai during the early to mid-2000s was Hassan Bouhadi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA).

After playing a prominent role in the overthrow of Gaddafi in 2011 and the activities of the National Transitional Council that followed, Bouhadi had been appointed Director to the LIA by the House of Representatives serving Haftar in Tobruk. [5] Following the creation of a memorandum of understanding between Libya and the Maltese government, a second office was set-up for Bouhadi in Valetta. It was this tiny capital city in Malta that would play host to an emergency summit meeting on Libya called by Boris Johnson in November 2016, as Johnson made the first of several attempts to boost Haftar’s appeal among more ‘rightist’ Conservative ministers. The Libyan Political Dialogue meeting sought to loosen a stalemate that had developed between Haftar’s government in Libya’s east (Tobruk) and the UN-backed GNA government in the west of the country (Tripoli). The series of discussions that took place between November 10th and November 11th 2016 had followed-up on meetings held in London the previous month featuring Johnson, United States Secretary of State John Kerry, and a small yet powerful constellation of UAE and Saudi banking representatives. Joining them this time were several UAE banking representatives and National Oil Corporation chief, Mustafa Sanalla.[6] Inevitably, discussion at that time had turned to the protection of Libya’s Oil Crescent terminals in the ports along a short strip of coast, southwest of Benghazi. Libyan oil production had endured repeated damage as a result of repeated strikes and seizures by IS militants and rival Islamist militias like the Benghazi Defence Brigade. By contrast, sales of US and Saudi oil had been soaring as a result of the seizures, before tumbling as Libyan production increased. As long as Libyan oil production remained in flux, Libya’s economy, it was feared, would remain in a constant state of crisis.

Fast-forward to May2016 and Johnson is about to receive his £50,000 donation from Fitriani Hay. The donation had come on the very day that Johnson stepped down from his role as London Major and prepared for a leadership battle with British Home Secretary, Theresa May after the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron in July 2016. On July 11th 2016 it was announced that May would be the next Prime Minister and Boris Johnson would serve as Foreign Secretary. The man whose first foray into politics had come in 2001 at the age of 37, and who had no occupied no previous role in any Conservative Cabinet was now well on his way to becoming Britain’s Prime Minister. A note accompany the donation from Mrs Hay describes how the very generous cash donation, dispensed over a period of two months between May 2016 and July 2016 had been made to “assist in winding up” Johnson’s mayoral role. A further donation of £125,000 was made by the same Mrs Hay to the Conservative Party the day after the Arena Bombing on May 23rd 2017 — bringing the total contributions that the couple had made to the party during the 2015-2017 period to some £684,000 or more.

Hay’s former regional sales manager, Hassan Bouhadi resigned his formal role at Libya’s LIA in August 2016 after a leadership challenge from the GNA-backed ‘chairman’ of the LIA Abdul Magid Breish in Tripoli. There were rumours at this time that pressure was being placed on Bouhadi to steer the direction of investments into projects he was not entirely comfortable with. The wrangle over leadership of the LIA, and attempts to resolve whether Bouhadi or Breish was to be recognised as ‘official chairman’ of the LIA by Britain, was still being heard in the courts of appeal in London in May 2020. The appeal continues to be rejected on the basis that the British Government had never formally recognised either the ‘Tobruk government’ or the ‘Tripoli government’ as the Government of Libya, creating a diplomatic nightmare that the UK Government was obviously keen to avoid. [7] One solution to Libya’s cash and assets problem tabled by Boris Johnson at the summit in Malta had been the creation of a ‘Higher Investment Council’. Writing in Middle Eastern Eye, veteran reporter Peter Oborne explained how Libya’s ‘Higher Investment Council’ would rank above all the institutions of Libya including the National Oil Company, the Libyan Investment Authority and the Central Bank. [8] Similar bodies have been set-up in Syria and Egypt and present an entirely more favourable route for foreign investors otherwise discouraged by the often intensely complex political challenges and impenetrable red-tape of troubled regions. [9] Whilst it’s unclear if Hassan Bouhadi, the recently deposed director of the LIA was being considered as its possible head, it would certainly have made a lot of sense, his familiarity with the wider mechanisms of business at an International level, and the idiosyncrasies of the West, being quite obviously a proven thing.

The Eribi Controversy … and a little Siber-netics

Jack Johnston of PoliticsHome unearthed another possibility when it emerged that Sir Edward Lister, a close adviser to Boris Johnson at both the Mayoral Office and the Foreign Office, had launched a company that “intended to undertake rehabilitation works in Libya.” [10] The company, Eribi Holdings Ltd had been incorporated at Companies House on April 6th 2017 by New Zealander, Douglas Mckinnon-Snell, the managing director of oil and gas brokers, DLJ Partners Ltd and founder of M’carta Management Services Ltd who retain controlling shares in Eribi Holdings. A statement on the company website reads, “M’Carta provides back-to-life solutions for war damaged and under-performing urban areas through structured development plans and engagement. Our team has decades of experience in MENA nations and globally”[11] Another shareholder, the UAE-based, Ibrahim Zahaf, an expert in the Islamic and Shariah finance industry has been a respected player in Libya’s economic revival since its revolution in 2011. Acknowledging that the post-Revolutionary Libya had “great economic potential” his company in Dubai, Amanie Advisers [12] signed a memorandum of understanding with the Libyan Stock Market in July 2013 to provide support to the country’s efforts to expand the role of Islamic finance. [13] In May 2011, the Auckland broker was brought in as director to the private security company, OBS24 Security Services Ltd, a rapid response bureau made-up of former Special Forces, whose parent company, OBS Security, had provided years of protection to embassies and facilities across the Middle East and for various venues and high-profile names in Britain. [14] McKinnon-Snell’s co-director, Kevin O’Brien writes on their website: “We have been retained to recruit and train numerous local security forces in support of exploration operations in many countries, including: Afghanistan, Iraq, Qatar, UAE, Sierra Leone, Sudan, The Republic of Congo, Columbia, Guyana and Brazil.” Interestingly, the company had been incorporated in April 2011 just weeks after the United Nations had implemented the No Fly Zone in Libya. [15]

According to his LinkedIn profile, McKinnon-Snell’s experience over the years has included “two large acquisitions on Russian Oil and Gas”. [16] His partner at DLJ is David Lawrence Jamison, the founding director at both Vitol — one of the world’s largest oil trading companies — and Sibir Energy, a British oil company that was to be wholly consumed by Russia’s Gazprom Neft at the time of Libya’s February Revolution in 2011.[17] When Sibir was formed, the Russian Oil industry was in dire need of investment. Responding to this, British investors set-up Sibir as a vehicle for the exploration and exploitation of petroleum and natural gas in Siberia. James Watson, writing in the journal Europe-Asia Studies at the time of its formation in 1996 describes how Russia’s oil output had fallen over 45% since its peak some ten years earlier. Russian firms, starved of cash and adequate technology and skills, were proving a turn-off for investors. Partnership with Western oil companies was the only option. Taking advantage of this downturn in Russia’s fortunes was Scottish oil executive, Henry Ogilvy Cameron, a lawyer by trade who became acquainted with Russian and Finnish businessmen whilst practising in Aberdeen. Incorporated originally as a private company, Sibir completed its initial investment in Russia on September 5th 1996 and was listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) on April 8 1997, at which point it changed its name from Roebuy PLC to Sibir Energy Ltd.

By March 1997 Cameron had taken over the Russian oil firm Evikhon, at this time headed by Russian State Duma members, Vadim Evgenievich Varshavskiy (President) and Vladimir Shumeyk (Chairman). Evikhon’s 24% stake in Ugraneft extended Sibir’s reach still further and by time of the Russian Financial Crisis of December 1998 it was clear that Russia’s staggering oil industry was in need of further privatisation. Within months of Vladimir Putin being appointed Russia’s Prime Minister under Boris Yeltsin, Chalva Chigirinsky, the majority owner of the joint stock companies Evikhon and Yugraneft, merged his formidable oil assets with Cameron and Sibir. The move came after an intense 14-months of negotiations and by April 1999 the company’s discussions with the Yeltsin government’s Moscow Oil Company (MNC) — founded on the advice of Sibir Energy in February 1999 — were beginning to bear fruit. Cameron acknowledged that the greatest risk by far to business in Russia very often arose from the conduct of Russian businessmen. Chigirinsky was presented to the board as a partner who combined the ability to make money with a sense of fair play” to shareholders. It is not without some irony to discover that the support offered to Putins election by Britain and the skills and resources it was able to pour into Russias stagnant oil industry made it the formidable energy giant it is today. As a result of cooperation from Britain, income from oil exports grew dramatically from the transition from Boris Yeltsin to Vladimir Putin, from $14 billion in 1999 to $140 billion in July 2005–June 2006.

When Yeltsin had indicated that he would be appointing Putin his handpicked successor in August, very few people believed that the politically inexperienced bureaucrat had any real chance of being elected President. A meeting with Tony Blair was set-up in St Petersburg in March 2000. According to a report in The Times, Blair was offering to give Putin lessons in how to be a moderniser, making arrangements for a spring visit to Moscow from one of the Treasury’s top officials, Sir Nigel Wicks to advise on ways in which Russia could better fit into the world economy. Despite the best efforts of former Spy Chief, Sir Richard Dearlove to present Blair’s visit as a defining moment in Putin’s election, his popularity had already been soaring as a result of his handling of the crisis in Chechnya, an anti-Islamist rout that earned him no small amount of support from American neo-Conservatives and British Tories alike.

On paper at least, Putin’s political profile was a far closer match to many of the more orthodox members of Britain’s Conservative Party. This became abundantly clear when Putin endorsed Russia’s new Unity Party, a purpose-built effort that would push the same isolationist and anti-Nato sentiments as Britain’s Brexiteers some sixteen years later. If any there had been any attempt by Blair to renew and strengthen British ties with Russia, it was only ever an extension of a programme that had been rolled-out more energetically under Margaret Thatcher and John Major’s Conservative Governments.

Writing in The Times in July 2000, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the Foreign Secretary in John Major’s Conservative Government at the time that Sibir had been conceived, did little to hide his sympathy with Putin’s Russia over NATO’s continuing attempts to press the Ukraine and other nations in the Caucasus into joining. As Rifkind saw it, the West had a “strategic interest in the independence and territorial integrity of the Ukraine” but the disappearance of the old Russian Empire was not yet something that Russia was “reconciled to” (Dangers in Former Russian Territories, Malcolm Rifkind, The Times, July 2000). Twelve years later, Rifkind would become President of the Conservative Friends of Russia (renamed the Westminster Russia Forum). The group’s co-founder Nick Cobb, memorably described by Tom Rogan of the Washington Examiner as a “Kremlin facilitator”, organising and supporting individuals who could advance Putin’s interests, would hook-up on several projects in Britain with Anton Samoylenko, a Moscow-born specialist in financial and political communications. On closer inspection it transpires that Samoylenko’s father, Vladimir Ivanovic Samoylenko, currently serves as General Director of the Siberian Alliance Group, the holding company set-up in 1991 to assist in building international business relations in the aftermath of Perestroika. According to the group’s website it has partners in the energy, construction and investment industries.

A report by Andrew Gilligan of The Times in November 2017 described how Russia had invaded the heart of British power when it was revealed that Cobb and Rifkind’s society had a disproportionate number of pro-Brexit ministers among its members, most notably, Dominic Cumming’s Vote Leave colleague, Matthew Elliot. Responding on the group’s website a few days later, Cobb explained that the group’s committee and membership was made of a wide range of political, remain, leave views, and that he himself had for many years been an active Labour supporter.

Boris Johnson’s transport adviser Andrew Gilligan writing in the Sunday Times in October 2016

Gilligan, who was famously blamed by journalist and author, Nick Cohen for having ‘betrayed’ Dr David Kelly when he revealed him to be the source of the claims made about the ‘sexed-up’ dossier on Iraq, had been producing a fairly regular stream of ‘revelations’ about Putin’s grip on British politics since October 2016. On the first occasion, his dramatic full-page article for The Sunday Times explained how Putin was pulling the strings at the heart of The Bruges Club, one of the oldest Eurosceptic bodies active in the Conservative Party. The article was duly followed up by ‘Putin’s true-blue Tory friends’, that same week, ‘How Russia invaded the heart of British power’ in November 2017, ‘Tories break Theresa May’s vow to ban Russian donors’ in March 2018, ‘Number of Russian spies in UK has risen fivefold since Cold War’ in October 2018 and ‘Establishment flock to dine at Kremlin-linked Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society’ in March 2019. Extraordinarily, despite any misgivings the journalist may have about Putin’s stranglehold on the British Conservative Party, Gilligan traded in his job at The Sunday Times for an advisory role in Boris Johnson’s government in July 2019. Since that time, Johnson’s reluctance to apply the full weight of sanctions on Russian Oligarchs residing in Britain has reheated discussion about the Conservative Party’s proximity to Putin and his allies in the passionate media response to the invasion of Ukraine. So far, Gilligan, who used his considerable skills to help unseat Ken Livingstone for Boris Johnson back in 2008, has not expressed any opinion on the Putin-cronyism accusations currently being levelled at Johnson and his Party.

On December 17th 1999, just two weeks before Putin became acting-President of Russia, Sibir completed its acquisition of Evikhon and Ugraneft. The companys end of year report in December 1999 described it as a ground-breaking development in Russian-western business relations and that it owed no small amount of debt to the “vision and willingness” shown by Chigirinsky (elected President of the Moscow Oil Company) in transferring his upstream interests. Jamison resigned his directorship of the company in June 1999 as a draft proposal was being agreed.

Subsequent directors at Sibir would include Elena Ilyukhina and Russian oligarch, Aleksandr Tsjigirinski.[18] Sibir’s co-founder, Alexander Betsky stayed with the company until the first signs of the Sibir controversy began to emerge in 2008. This was followed by the exit of Sibir supremo and the company’s major stakeholder, Shalva Chigirinsky, currently ranked Russia’s 58th richest oligarch.

Although Jamison had parted with Vitol in 1986, the company would be at the centre of a Libyan oil cell scandal in September 2011, when it was revealed that the British Minister of State for International Development, Alan Duncan (a former oil trader himself) had been part of a Whitehall group putting a stranglehold on Gaddafi’s oil flow at the time of the revolution. In a development that drew criticism from Tory backbenchers and party opposition, it was found that Vitol, who took part in these sessions in Whitehall, had won exclusive rights to trade with the Libyan rebels in a deal estimated to be worth in excess of £600 million. [19]

Eddie Lister may have only been appointed a director of Eribi Holdings Limited in October 2018, his position as non-executive director at the Foreign Office during this time would have made him vulnerable to accusations of a conflict of interests, something which was duly acknowledged in the report at PoliticsHome. [20] However, it is interesting to note that the company was incorporated just one month prior to Boris Johnson’s article in The Spectator in which the British Foreign Secretary shared his ecstatic vision of a post-Revolutionary Libya reborn in Dubai’s image in his typically effusive fashion. The timing would certainly add weight to the theory put forward by PoliticsHome.

It’s needs to be reiterated at this point that neither, Fitriani Hay or anyone associated with Eribi Holdings had been doing anything illegal. Everything had been above board. There was work to be done, money to be made. One might question the ethics of Sir Edward Lister in both advising on foreign affairs and capitalising on those policies with projects like Eribi Holdings, or even failing to declare them as formal ‘interests’ in the registers held by the Parliamentary Standards Commission, but unlike robbing a bank (or breaking lockdown restrictions) it was not a criminal offence.

A Moment of Hope

Was the ‘dead bodies’ remark from Johnson just an ‘oafish’ choice of words or was it a more cynical manoeuvre? In his ‘Best Hope for Libya’ article published in The Spectator magazine some months before, the British Foreign Minister had been writing in an unofficial capacity; not as a member of Her Majesty’s government but as a private individual. This time was a little different. Now he had the full weight of office behind him. His decision to share these thoughts at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester was more extraordinary still. The city had barely recovered from its collision with Libya in May. The Manchester Arena had been reopened only weeks before — an attempt to restore some much needed sense of normality for the city and its people. Even so, the families had mixed emotions about revisiting. There would be difficult memories to tackle. So what was Boris thinking of when he made such a deeply offensive statement in a city whose, restless, radical fringe were so demonstrably, and so viscerally, active? Was it a deliberate provocation? Was Boris, in his typical cavalier fashion, trying to coerce the kind of aggravated, knee-jerk response that would leave Britain — and the rest of the world — in absolutely no doubt about the dangers of Political Islam? Was Boris hoping that the Islamists militias in Tripoli supporting the GNA would respond in such a way that would Britain and the United Nations no other conceivable option but to back a power-share with Haftar, or, moreover, shift their support to Haftar completely?

Up until the attack in May, the moral high ground, certainly where the UN was concerned, was occupied pretty firmly by the GNA. Because of this, the GNA naturally saw little reason to make the concessions necessary for a mutually acceptable power-share. Almost overnight the moral balance had been redressed. Responding to Charlotte Leslie’s words of thanks to Haftar’s government in March 2017, Johnson had made a definitive, game-changing statement about his commitment to such a solution: “The fundamental thing has to be rapprochement between the two sides in Libya. We certainly believe that General Haftar has to be part of the solution.”[21] If there were any doubts at all in the minds of the Abedi family about the moral legitimacy of such an attack, how skewed or repulsive they may have been, they had probably faded at this very moment. It might have been the farthest thing from their mind but they were about to hand Haftar and his supporters the opportunity of a lifetime. It was only the leaking of a video in July, purporting to show the summary execution of twenty of Haftar’s prisoners that prevented the scales being tipped completely in his favour. [22] By the summer of 2017 both groups were under overwhelming pressure to reach a compromise.

The statement made by Boris Johnson in Parliament in which he had expressed his support for the resumption of relations between the two warring factions, had been in response to an expression of thanks from Charlotte Leslie to the Haftar’s government in Tobruk for the condolences they had offered after the “tragic and traumatic events” of March 22nd 2017. This was the day when hundreds of desperate migrants were found to have drowned in the turbulent waters just thirty miles west of Tripoli. [23] Drawing on the role that was alleged to have been played by the people smuggling gangs operating with the support of the criminal gangs and militias, Leslie, who had declined to vote on the No Fly Zone over Libya in March 2011 [24], was demanding “urgent and active engagement” with the Haftar government in Tobruk. It was, she believed, the failure of the West to recognise Haftar and the HOR that was leading to such fatalities. Leslie, who with CMEC’s Kwasi Kharteng had been among the first to call for a complete reassessment of General Haftar in October 2016, was quick to seize her moment. Did the Foreign Secretary not think after the “tragic and traumatic event” of March 22nd that the House of Representatives in Tobruk was “vital for a stable Libya and the ending of the mass export of migrants to their death by militia”? [25]

For Johnson, Lister and the fleet of eager investors, this was indeed a ‘moment of hope for Libya’.

Endnotes

[1] ‘This is a moment of hope for Libya — We can’t afford to miss it’, Boris Johnson, The Spectator, May 13 2017; https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/libya-s-best-hope

[2] https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmfaff/119/119.pdf

[3] ‘Boris Johnson Libya ‘dead bodies’ comment provokes anger’, BBC News, October 4, 2017; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41490174

[4] ‘Boris Johnson ‘dead bodies’ row deepens as Libya demands explanation’, Middle East Eye, Jamie Merrill, October 6, 2017; https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/boris-johnson-dead-bodies-row-deepens-libya-demands-explanation

[5] ‘Following the Money in Libya’, Elisabeth Braw, The National Interest, October 10, 2015; ttps://nationalinterest.org/feature/following-the-money-libya-14041

[6] ‘Foreign Secretary in Malta for high-level talks’, Press Release; ‘Resuscitating Libya in Malta?’, Mohamed Mufti, Independent (Malta), Malta, November 6 2016; https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2016-11-06/newspaper-opinions/Resuscitating-Libya-in-Malta-6736166178;

Foreign & Commonwealth Office, November 11 2016; https://www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-secretary-in-malta-for-high-level-talks

[7] Case No: A4/2019/1820 and A4/2019/1833, Royal Courts of Justice, 15/05/2020; https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Approved-judgment-2020-EWCA-Civ-637-Mahmoud-v-Breish-and-Hussein-15-May-2020.pdf

[8] ‘Libya’s UN-backed government is an utter farce’, Peter Oborne, Middle Eastern Eye, November 16 2016; https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/libyas-un-backed-government-utter-farce

[9] ‘Egypt determined to make foreign investments easier – Minister’, Michael Georgy, The Africa Report, 12 January, 2015’

[10] https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/210118/210118.pdf

[11] http://mcartamanagement.com/

[12] https://web.archive.org/web/20170519171345/http://amanieadvisors.com/new/

[13] ‘Stock Exchange Signs Deal with Amanie Advisors’, Libya Business Now, July 11, 2013, https://libya-businessnews.com/2013/07/11/stock-exchange-signs-deal-with-amanie-advisors/

[14] https://web.archive.org/web/20061002042317/http://www.obssecurityconsultants.co.uk/clients.html

[15] OBS24 SECURITY LIMITED/Company number 07607031 (name changed from OBS24 Security Services Limited, May 10th 2011 (associated company: Custodia Worldwide Limited, 29 Harley Street) ; https://web.archive.org/web/20110129012604/http://obs24.com/

[16] Among the four ‘Thought Leader’ Influencers’ listed on his LinkedIn page are Dubai’s HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed and Boris Johnson.

[17] In July 2009 Sibir found itself at the centre of a probe by Russian Police. The company was dissolved in July 2017. See: ‘Moscow eyes bigger Sibir stake amid shareholder probe’, Reuters, July 17, 2009; https://www.reuters.com/article/idUKLH70922520090717?edition-redirect=uk

[18] Sir Stephen O’ Brien, the former Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator joined Jamison at Savannah Energy PLC in December 2017 whilst MP and Russian gold and gas magnate, Patrick Meade (Earl of Clanwilliam) joined him at Angus Energy PLC.

[19] ‘Government admits Alan Duncan’s links to company in ‘Libyan oil cell’’, Polly Curtis and Terry Macalister, The Guardian, September 1, 2011; https://web.archive.org/web/20170114152121/https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/sep/01/libya-alan-duncan-links-oil-cell

[20] ‘Exclusive: Eddie Lister Was A Director Of Firm Aiming To Build ‘The Next Dubai’ In Libya While Serving On Foreign Office Board’, John Johnston, PoliticsHome, 24 April 2021. Lister had been appointed as non executive director at the FCO in April 2017, the month that Eribi Holdings had been incorporated at Companies House. He left his post in July 2019 when he became one of Johnson’s chief advisers at No.10.

[21] Hansard, Oral Answers, Parliamentary debates, House of Commons, 2nd Session of 56th Parliament, March 28 2017. ‘Rapprochement’ is Foreign office speak for ‘reconciliation’, suggesting that it was one of the rare occasions that Johnson had actually been paying attention to his advisers.

[22] ‘General accused of war crimes courted by west in Libya’, The Guardian, Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome and Ruth Michaelson, September 25, 2017; https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/25/khalifa-haftar-libyan-general-accused-of-human-rights-abuses

[23] ‘250 migrants feared dead in the Mediterranean after two empty dinghies found off Libyan coast’, Fionn Hargeaves, Daily Mail, March 23 2017; https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4343622/Around-250-migrants-feared-dead-Mediterranean.html

[24] https://www.theyworkforyou.com/divisions/pw-2011-03-21-235-commons/mp/24891

[25] Hansard, Oral Answers, Parliamentary debates, House of Commons, 2nd Session of 56th Parliament, March 28 2017

[26] Hansard, Oral Answers, Parliamentary debates, House of Commons, 2nd Session of 56th Parliament, March 28 2017

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