Swiss lift sanctions against Libyan defector Koussa

11th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Switzerland said Wednesday it had lifted financial sanctions against former Libyan foreign minister and defector Moussa Koussa following a similar move by the European Union.

Authorities decided to freeze assets thought to have been held by Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi and his circle in March "to avoid any risk of funds being redirected to Libya."

They decided to make changes to the order on Monday, "effective from May 12," the Federal Economic Department said in a note to media.

Among the changes, "the former Libyan foreign minister, Moussa Koussa, has been removed from the list of people covered by the sanctions," he added.

Former intelligence officer Koussa, at one time a close aide of Colonel Kadhafi, defected from the Tripoli regime when the strongman began cracking down on protests earlier this year, arriving in London on March 30.

The Swiss move follows a similar decision by the European Union on April 14.

"Following the order (of March 30), 360 million Swiss francs (286 million euros) were blocked, a foreign ministry spokesman told AFP, with the sums related to the 26 people on the list as well 41 businesses and organisations.

Relations between Bern and Tripoli have been strained since two Swiss nationals were detained in Libya in response to the arrest in Geneva of Kadhafi's son Hannibal.

© 2011 AFP

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