Switzerland looking to take Libya to court over 'kidnapping'

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GENEVA: Switzerland is examining if it can prosecute Libya in an international court over the "kidnapping" of two Swiss nationals, Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey said in remarks published Friday.

"We are examining at the moment, whether we can bring a case to the international courts against the kidnapping of the two Swiss in autumn 2009.

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

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

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 Moammar Qaddafi’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 offenses.

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

Qaddafi’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.

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