Groups demand freeze of Gaddafi assets

Non-governmental organisations have called for the Swiss authorities to freeze the assets of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi and some of his family members.

This content was published on February 22, 2011 - 08:43 and agencies

On Monday, the Arabic Transparency Organisation launched an urgent request with the Swiss cabinet, the federal prosecutor’s office and the foreign ministry.

A lawyer representing the group said it was imperative to avoid the loss of any funds deposited in Switzerland – funds which may have been generated through the misuse of public coffers in Libya.

He said that the Swiss authorities should block any assets immediately rather than waiting for the fall of the regime in Tripoli. The lawyer has provided the cabinet with a partial list of suspects.

Another process was also launched on Monday afternoon. In conjunction with the Libyan Human Rights Solidarity, the Geneva-based Right for All group filed a criminal complaint with the foreign ministry.

It calls for the assets of the Gaddafi clan to be blocked and requests that the matter be referred to the international criminal authorities.

The Swiss government has stated that it is monitoring the unrest in Libya, Bahrain and other countries in the region. However, it has not decided whether or not to freeze assets.

Earlier this month, Switzerland blocked the accounts of the deposed presidents of Egypt and Tunisia.

The foreign ministry said on Monday that several dozens of millions of francs had been frozen as a result.

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