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Libya denies Gaddafi has money in Swiss banks

Libya has denied that leader Moammar Gaddafi has personal money in Swiss bank accounts and says any assets there are from the government's foreign investment arm.

The comments come after Switzerland said on Monday that it had found SFr360 million ($418.4 million) of potentially illegal assets linked to Gaddafi and his circle in Swiss banks.

Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim said on Tuesday that Libyan government entities had closer to SFr25 million in bank accounts in Switzerland.

                                  

"The money in bank accounts abroad is part of the investment portfolio of the government abroad," he told reporters. "If there is a single penny of the leader's money ... you are free to take it and to give it to anyone."

                                  

Relations between Switzerland and Libya soured in July 2008, when Geneva police detained Gaddafi's son Hannibal and his wife on charges of abusing two domestic employees. The charges were later dropped after a confidential settlement was reached with the victims.

                                  

Libya withdrew more than $5 billion from Swiss banks at the time, halted oil exports to Switzerland and barred two Swiss businessmen working in Libya from leaving the country for more than a year.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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