See also:
» 31.03.2011 - Libya's Foreign Minister defects
» 18.03.2011 - Africa defies AU chief's support for Ghaddafi
» 11.03.2011 - African Union praises Ghaddafi "reform offer"
» 02.03.2011 - "Kenya, Niger, Mali troops support Ghaddafi"
» 01.02.2011 - Ghaddafi siblings prepare for Libya unrest
» 18.03.2010 - Nigeria Senate leader calls Gaddafi "mad man"
» 16.03.2010 - Gaddafi: "Split Nigeria into two nations"
» 01.02.2010 - Court overturns Swiss man’s jail term

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Politics | Society

Swiss government rejects compensation demands by Libya

afrol News, 24 March - The Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey has said the country’s authorities will not apologise or compensate to the Libyan government over the arrest of the son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi saying that police were not at fault when Hannibal Gaddafi and his wife were arrested.

The Minister has outrightly rejected the notion of compensation to the government saying the Libyan government was wrong to demand compensation for the arrest that was foreseen.

The Swiss police arrested Hannibal Gaddafi and his wife in July following an assault claim by two maids at a five star hotel in Geneva. Their arrest sparked a political row with the Swiss government with Tripoli closing some of the Swiss companies and throwing diplomats out of the country.

In January, Ms Calmy-Rey and another of Gaddafi’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, but no decision was reached.

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

Earlier this month, a Swiss lawyer acting on behalf of the Libyan government, Charles Poncet, said the Libya authorities were preparing an official complaint against Geneva authorities over the arrest.

However, Ms Calmy-Rey was adamant that a report in 2008 showed police and judiciary acted in full legality, and there was no fault. Officials also stated that the Gaddafi couple received the same treatment as Swiss citizens would in similar circumstances.

Meanwhile Italy has offered to mediate in the row between Switzerland and Libya over spat after an arrest of Mr Gaddafi’s son.

The Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told his Swiss counterpart, Micheline Calmy-Rey, that the country was "ready to take on the role" of mediator based on its relationship with the oil-producing North African state.

In 2005, Hannibal was detained in Paris for allegedly assaulting his companion in a hotel. On several occasion, the police had also stopped him for over speeding at Avenue des Champs-Élysées, known in France as the most beautiful avenue in the world.

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