Swiss will not compensate Libya

24th March 2009, Comments 1 comment

Foreign Minister Calmy-Rey refuses to apologise for Kadhafi son’s arrest.

GENEVA - Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey on Monday said there were no grounds to compensate Libya over the arrest of a son of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi in July 2008.

Calmy-Rey and Geneva local government officials maintain that police were not at fault when Hannibal Kadhafi and his wife were arrested in a luxury hotel after two domestic staff claimed they were beaten.

"As a result, one cannot claim compensation of the kind that has been envisaged," Calmy-Rey told journalists.

In January, Calmy-Rey and another of Kadhafi's sons, Seif al-Islam, met on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos to discuss the case, which harmed diplomatic and economic relations between the two countries.

The NZZ am Sonntag newspaper reported Sunday that Switzerland suggested a memorandum of understanding at that meeting, offering to ensure police were better trained in diplomatic behaviour, but it was rejected by Libya.

Libya's deputy foreign minister for European affairs said Tripoli wants an apology from Swiss authorities and the punishment of those who carried out the arrest.

A Swiss lawyer acting for Libya, Charles Poncet, said in March that he was preparing a lawsuit against Geneva authorities over the arrest.

But Calmy-Rey was adamant Monday that a report in 2008 showed police and judiciary "acted in full legality, there was no fault."

Officials also stated that the Kadhafi couple received the same treatment as Swiss citizens would in similar circumstances.

"On the federal government's side, we acknowledge that police could have acted with greater tact," the foreign minister added.

Hannibal Kadhafi was eventually released and the complaint was dropped. A lawyer for the domestic workers later said they received compensation.

Geneva State Councillor Laurent Moutinot said police acted properly.

"Compared to some other countries in the world... in Geneva justice is the same for all, that's the message that I must nonetheless reiterate, whether one is rich or powerful," Moutinot said.

"If Mr Kadhafi had not been Mr Kadhafi he might have stayed in prison for a fortnight -- in any case, if there was an inequality in treatment, it was rather in his favour," he added.

Libya intermittently stopped oil deliveries because of the dispute, withdrew an estimated USD 7 billion (CHF 8 billion, EUR 5 billion) from Swiss banks and briefly detained Swiss company staff in Libya.

AFP / Expatica

1 Comment To This Article

  • adnan posted:

    on 2nd June 2009, 12:24:31 - Reply

    i think that mr. gadaffi received a better treatment by swiss police than they are able to provide to their citizens, and would ever provide for a foreign national. it is a shame people like this are even alowed to circulate in europe considering their dictator backgraund and thousands of murdered people that have disappeared under their rule and are still disappearing and being tortured. countries like libya should be boycoted by the western world!