Briton to represent Swiss in Libya negotiation

31st August 2009, Comments 0 comments

Switzerland names legal expert Elizabeth Wilmshurst to rule on the 2008 arrest of Hannibal Kadhafi in Geneva.

Zurich -- Switzerland on Sunday named a British jurist to help rule on the legality of the 2008 arrest of one of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's sons that sparked a crisis between the two countries.

International law expert Elizabeth Wilmshurst will be part of an arbitration court that is to rule on the July 2008 arrest of Hannibal Kadhafi and his wife at a luxury Geneva hotel, the Swiss foreign ministry said in a statement.

The arrests came after two of their servants, a Moroccan and a Tunisian, alleged they had been mistreated.

The Kadhafi couple was freed on bail after two days in custody, while the complaint against them was later dropped after a lawyer said the servants had received compensation.

But the incident sparked outrage from the Kadhafi family.

It led to a freeze on Swiss business, the withdrawal of Libyan assets from Swiss banks and disruption to oil deliveries. In addition, two Swiss businessmen were blocked from leaving the North African country.

Tripoli earlier in August promised to allow the two businessmen to leave the country after Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz apologised to the Libyan people for the arrest.

Swiss newspapers said that the two men were expected back on a scheduled flight from Libya on Sunday.

Merz signed an agreement in Tripoli that provides for an arbitration court, to sit in London, which will decide whether Swiss police were excessive when they arrested the Kadhafi couple.

Switzerland and Libya are each to name a judge from a third country who will then together name another judge who will preside over the arbitration court.

AFP / Expatica

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