Belfast Telegraph

Swiss accused of Gaddafi son abuse

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi

Libya have accused Swiss authorities of using excessive force during the arrest of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's son in Switzerland last year, deepening a diplomatic stand-off between the two countries.

The Libyan Foreign Ministry issued a list of 27 grievances connected to the arrest of Hannibal Gaddafi, who was apprehended with his wife in July 2008 for allegedly beating up their servants in a Geneva hotel.

Gaddafi and his wife were released on bail three days later and returned to Libya.

In a document posted on the ministry's website, Libya accused Swiss authorities of breaking down a door during the arrest, pointing a gun at him and using 20 armed men to take him away.

It said he was improperly locked in a cell with another inmate, suffered unspecified bodily harm and claimed Switzerland denied injuring him. There was no immediate reaction from Switzerland.

The complaint against the younger Gaddafi was eventually dropped after the two servants received compensation from an undisclosed source. But tensions remain high, in part because of the continued detention of two Swiss businessmen in Libya.

The men, Max Goeldi and Rachid Hamdani, were detained in July 2008 on alleged visa violations days after Gaddafi was arrested. Earlier this month, they were convicted of violating residency and labour laws and sentenced to 16 months in jail and a £940 fine.

They are currently being protected in the Swiss Embassy in Tripoli, but soon face another Libyan trial for illegal commercial activity.

Earlier this week, Hannibal Gaddafi filed a civil complaint against a Swiss newspaper which published a mugshot from his arrest. The photo was published by Tribune de Geneve in September, more than a year after the arrest.

PA

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