News24

Libya row - Switzerland to prosecute

2011-06-06 20:08

Berlin - The Swiss government has authorised prosecutors to open criminal proceedings against Libya for allegedly taking two Swiss men hostage following the 2008 arrest in Switzerland of Muammar Gaddafi's son.

Switzerland also accuses "persons unknown" in the Libyan government of blackmail for detaining Max Goeldi and Rachid Hamdani for over a year.

They were detained in Tripoli on immigration charges weeks after Hannibal Gaddafi was arrested by Geneva police for allegedly mistreating his servants.

The case threatened European ties with the oil-rich North African country until Switzerland agreed to apologise, pay Hannibal $1.5m and submit to an international dispute settlement tribunal.

The Swiss justice ministry couldn't immediately say on Monday why Switzerland had decided to prosecute Libya now.