Swiss examines action on Libya over 'kidnapping'

18th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

Switzerland is examining if it can take international action against Libya over the "kidnapping" of two Swiss citizens, Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey said in remarks published Friday.

"We are examining at the moment if we can launch proceedings in an international body against the the kidnapping of the two Swiss in autumn 2009," said.

"After all, they were isolated for almost eight weeks," she said in an interview with 20 minuten.

She added that Switzerland would also put forward the point to a tribunal that would be established according to an action plan signed between the two countries aimed at resolving their dispute and normalising relations.

A local populist party, the Geneva Citizens' Movement, has filed a complaint against the Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi for kidnapping the two men, the party's lawyer told AFP on Friday.

Two Swiss businessmen Rachid Hamdani and Max Goeldi were blocked from leaving Libyan territory in a tit-for-tat action after the brief arrest of one of Kadhafi's son in July 2008.

On September 18, 2009, they were taken from the Swiss embassy, where they were staying, by Libyan officials to a secret location where they were held until November 9.

The two businessmen were later returned to the embassy, and Hamdani was allowed to leave the country in February, while Goeldi was sentenced to jail for visa offences.

Goeldi only managed to return to Switzerland in the early hours of Monday.

Kadhafi's son Hannibal and his pregnant wife were held by Swiss police, after two of their domestic staff claimed they had been mistreated by the couple at a Geneva hotel.

The two servants, who were subsequently compensated by the couple, later dropped their assault charges.

© 2010 AFP

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