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Swiss jailed in Libya has 25 days to go

A lawyer representing a Swiss businessman imprisoned in Tripoli says his client, Max Göldi, should be freed by Libyan authorities on June 12.

Göldi was sentenced to four months jail in February on charges of immigration violations, although he had spent time in prison between July and September, 2008.

The prison term has been widely considered retribution for the 2008 detention in Geneva of Hannibal Gaddafi, a son of the Libyan leader.

Gaddafi and his pregnant wife were charged with abusing their domestic staff at a luxury city hotel. The charges were dropped.

Göldi’s lawyer, Salah Zahaf, said on Tuesday that only eight of the 58 days the Swiss manager had served in jail in 2008 would count toward the four-month sentence handed down.

“He must only stay another 25 days in jail,” Zahaf noted, although he could not say whether Göldi would be allowed to leave the country upon release.

The Swiss foreign ministry declined to comment, while Amnesty International said it had no new information.

Göldi was working as a country manager for engineering firm ABB in Libya when police arrested him and other directors of Swiss firms based in the country.

He and another Swiss working in Libya, Rachid Hamdani, were then barred from leaving the country for 19 months.

Hamdani was allowed to leave earlier this year while Göldi was taken to jail to begin a four-month sentence that Amnesty International has criticised as being politically motivated.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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