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"
» 16.12.2009 - Lockerbie bomber disappears in Libya

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Court overturns Swiss man’s jail term

afrol News, 1 February - An appeals court in Libya has overturned a conviction of a Swiss businessman, Rachid Hamdani, one of the two Swiss men being held in Libya on immigration violations.

Mr Hamdani and Max Goldi were sentenced to 16 months in prison in November for staying illegally in Libya. Mr Goldi is expected to appear in court on Thursday to appeal the same charges laid against him by the Libyan authorities.

Analysts have said the men were Entangled in a row over Bern's treatment of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's son Hannibal and pregnant wife in 2008 for allegedly assaulting their servants at a hotel in Geneva.

They have been holed up for almost the past year and a half at the Swiss embassy in Tripoli since the Hannibal affair blew up in July 2008, and the pair also face trial on charges of suspected illegal business activities.

Tripoli initially denied the Swiss businessmen exit visas and charged them with the immigration offences. However, they were later released on bail and allowed to stay at the embassy.

The businessmen had been due to return to Switzerland last September, but two days before their release, the daily newspaper La Tribune de Geneve printed pictures of Hannibal Kadhafi looking messy while in police custody.

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.

The arrest of Mr Gaddafi sparked a political row with the Swiss government with Tripoli closing some of the Swiss companies and throwing diplomats out of the country.

Switzerland's foreign ministry said authorities acted within international law in the arrest, but admitted that local police could have acted in a more sensitive manner especially to a highly pregnant wife.

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