* Austria says at least 1.2 bln euros Libya assets in banks
* Unclear how much money tied to Gaddafi and his circle
* Gaddafi son was Vienna student, lived in luxury - media
(Updates with comments from sources and Libyan ambassador)
By Sylvia Westall and Michael Shields
VIENNA, March 1 Austria took steps to freeze any
assets of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's family and other
associates subject to European Union sanctions, its central bank
said on Tuesday.
The bank said around 1.2 billion euros ($1.66 billion) in
Libyan assets were deposited in Austrian institutions.
"What part of this relates to people on the sanctions list
still needs to be clarified," it said in a statement, issued a
day after the 27-nation EU bloc imposed financial and other
sanctions on the Libyan leadership.
Sources with knowledge of the procedure played down the idea
that the investigation would turn up large sums of money.
"Very little of (the 1.2 billion euros) is likely to be
Gaddafi and, if it is, it is not going to have Gaddafi written
all over it," one source said.
Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam studied in Vienna and was a
close friend of the late Austrian far-right politician Joerg
Haider, accompanying him to the high-profile Opera Ball in 2006.
In Austria, he lived in a luxury villa on the outskirts of
Vienna and housed his two white pet tigers in the city's zoo,
according to Austrian media.
European powers have called on Gaddafi, in power for more
than four decades, to stand down after his attempts to suppress
two weeks of anti-government protests.
On top of an arms embargo and travel ban, the EU agreed on
Monday to freeze the assets of Gaddafi, his family and
The Austrian National Bank declined to give a figure for the
total amount of Libyan assets in Austria, which could include
property and company stakes.
Authorities need to check carefully whether money has been
deposited under pseudonyms, Austrian Foreign Minister Michael
Spindelegger said. He told the national news agency APA that
Austria would seize any property linked to Gaddafi's circle.
The decree drawn up by the central bank takes effect once it
is published in the official gazette on Wednesday.
The Libyan ambassador in Vienna, Ahmed Menesi, called on
"Brother Gaddafi" to show courage and resign.
"What is going on in Libya today in terms of oppression and
the deliberate murder of the Libyan people is horrific and
beyond words," he said in a statement.
Menesi has said he is on the side of the Libyan people but
has not resigned, unlike some counterparts in other capitals.
(Editing by Kevin Liffey)