Swiss embassy in Libya surrounded

Swiss nationals take refuge in embassy as Libyan police wait to arrest them.

    Hamdani, left, and Max Goeldi have been at the centre of a row between Libya and Switzerland [AFP]

    Visa row

    Last week Tripoli stopped issuing visas to most European citizens, a step that was linked to the row with Switzerland.

    Goeldi was sentenced to four months in jail by a Libyan court for having allegedly overstayed his visa and conducting illegal business activity.

    Following the Libyan government's ultimatum, Salah Zahaf, Goeldi's lawyer, told the AFP news agency: "He will leave the embassy and turn himself in voluntarily."

    Zahaf said he expected Goeldi to be taken to Ain Zara prison near Tripoli, and that he had been instructed to ask the Libyan justice system for an amnesty.

    Relations between Libya and Switzerland have been strained since July 2008, when Hannibal - a son of Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader - was arrested in the Swiss city of Geneva after two workers complained he had mistreated them.

    The row escalated when Libya swiftly detained Hamdani and Goeldi and confiscated their passports.

    It deteriorated further last year when a tentative political deal between Swiss and Libyan ministers fell through.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    More than 300 people died in Somalia but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Japan's third-largest steelmaker has admitted it faked data on parts used in cars, planes and trains.