Libya halts oil shipments to Switzerland
Libya's General National Maritime Transportation Company stopped oil shipments to Switzerland on Wednesday in response to arrest of Gadhafi’s son.24 July 2008
CAIRO - Libya has halted all of its oil deliveries to Switzerland to protest the arrest there of Moammar Gadhafi's son, a state-run shipping company said Thursday.
Libya's General National Maritime Transportation Company stopped oil shipments to Switzerland on Wednesday, said the head of the company, Ali Bilhajj Ahmed.
The shipments amount to 40 percent of the company's business, Ahmed said by telephone from Tripoli. But he would not give a figure on the amount of oil involved. He said the company's response was appropriate, calling it the "least we should do".
The oil cut-off was Libya's latest action in response to the arrest last week of Hannibal Gadhafi and his wife. Police arrested them on 15 July at a luxury hotel in Geneva for allegedly beating two of their servants, according to their lawyer.
Libya has recalled some of its diplomats from Switzerland, suspended the issuing of visas for Swiss citizens, reduced the number of flights to Switzerland and has detained two Swiss nationals on various charges, the Swiss Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.
Switzerland, in turn, warned its citizens not to travel to Libya.
The Libyan leader's son and his wife were released on bail two days after their arrest and left the country.
The daily Tribune de Geneve reported that two of Gadhafi's domestic servants claimed Gadhafi and his wife repeatedly beat them at the hotel with a belt and a hanger. It said a Tunisian woman was hospitalised.
Lawyer Alain Berger has said Gadhafi and his wife reject the allegations.
The 32-year-old Gadhafi has had previous run-ins with the law for violent behaviour in Paris.
Switzerland has dispatched a diplomatic delegation to Tripoli to give the Libyan authorities more details on the arrest "to prevent a crisis between the two countries," the Swiss Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
[AP / Flickr contributor RonAlmog / Expatica]