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Former Libya hostage returns home

Rachid Hamdani, one of two Swiss businessman barred from leaving Libya for 19 months, has returned to Switzerland, the Swiss foreign ministry has confirmed.

Hamdani was authorised to leave Libya on Monday after being cleared of immigration offences and violating business rules.

The dual Swiss-Tunisian national, travelled to neighbouring Tunisia on Monday evening. The exact time of his return to Switzerland has not been confirmed.

The second Swiss businessman, Max Göldi, left the shelter of the Swiss embassy in Tripoli on Monday, to begin a four-month prison term for immigration violations.

He and Hamdani were picked up in July 2008 after the arrest of one of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi’s sons in Geneva.

Swiss diplomats visited Göldi on Tuesday and efforts are now concentrated on securing his release.

Hamdani’s family issued a statement on Tuesday evening appealing for privacy. The father of two has two new grandchildren who were born since his detention in Libya.

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