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Briton to represent Switzerland on Libya panel

Switzerland has named a British lawyer to sit on a tribunal that will look into last year's detention in Geneva of a son of Libyan leader, Moammar Gaddafi.

This content was published on August 30, 2009 - 18:25

A foreign ministry statement on Saturday said Elizabeth Wilmshurst would be the country's arbitrator on the panel, which will be located in London.

The nomination is a condition of the Swiss-Libyan accord signed on August 20 by Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz, who has come under fire for apologising to the Libyan authorities for the "unjustified and unnecessary" measures by authorities in Geneva against Hannibal Gaddafi.

Gaddafi and his wife were detained by Geneva police after accusations they had mistreated two domestic staff. Charges were never brought against them.

On Friday, Switzerland said it was carrying out the commitments it made in the accord to create the "best possible conditions" for the quick return of two Swiss businessmen who have not been allowed to leave Libya for just over a year.

The federal cabinet sent a government jet to Tripoli on Tuesday in hopes of bringing the men home, but the plane returned to Bern carrying only the men's luggage.

The ministry said that Libya was insisting that the two return as businessmen and not on a government jet.

Merz has named the state secretary in the foreign ministry, Michael Ambühl, as Switzerland's representative to help restore bilateral relations.

A foreign ministry statement said that Merz had appointed staff at an early stage and they were "working round the clock" to implement the agreement.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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