More information on a “threatening” letter to the Belgian King’s brother, Prince Laurent, has been revealed, thanks to the identity of the sender coming to light.
In a recent email sent to the prince, the businessman and lawyer Jean-Jacques Coppée claimed he was acting as a mediator between the Libyan state and Laurent. According to the newspaper Le Soir, this is the man behind the “threats” of which the King’s brother considers to be the target.
In early January, Laurent had stated in an interview with Le Soir that he was a victim of attempts of bribery and threats concerning the Libyan funds file.
Le Soir now reveals that the man referred to by the Prince is none other than the Belgian businessman and member of the Brussels Bar Jean-Jacques Coppée, who divides his time between Belgium and Switzerland. He boasts of having a strong network in Libya, writes Le Soir.
The man claims in an email to have found a solution to end the dispute between Laurent and the Libyan state. The Global Sustainable Development Trust (GSDT), a former non-profit association founded by Prince Laurent, definitively won (end of 2014) the trial against the Libyan State, which was convicted in 2010 of having unilaterally interrupted a contract for the reforestation of parts of the desert. Libya now owes some €50 million plus interest to the non-profit, which itstubbornly refuses to pay.
Jean-Jacques Coppée regrets in his email that Laurent slammed the door in his face: “You told me that, from what you understood, I intervened free of charge, and that now I was demanding fees.” These fees would have amounted to €4 million, according to several sources consulted by Le Soir.
Coppée denies having intervened without having been asked to do so, and demands payment. The businessman later stresses that the legal and political approach “would necessarily involve suspicions that could be seriously damaging to the royal institution, especially in this fragile political time in Belgium, with the press being on the lookout.”
It is in these words that Prince Laurent has seen an attempt to intimidate him, as he had confided to his entourage and Le Soir.