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Libya trial postponed again

The trial in Libya of one of the two Swiss businessmen accused of “illegal economic activities” has been postponed again, his lawyer said on Saturday.

Max Göldi, who represented the engineering giant ABB in Libya, decided not to leave the Swiss embassy, where he has been living for several months, to present himself in court.

The lawyer, Salah Zahaf, said that decision had prompted the judge to postpone the trial, originally scheduled for January 2.

Although the court had provided verbal assurances that he would not be jailed if he appeared, Göldi had demanded written guarantees, Zahaf added.

Göldi and a second Swiss national, Rachid Hamdani, have already been sentenced to 16 months in jail for visa irregularities and tax evasion. Their appeals against the verdict have already been postponed twice because the court is demanding that they turn up in person for the hearings.

Hamdani’s trial for illegal economic activities is scheduled for Sunday.

The two men have been prevented from leaving Libya since July 2008, shortly after Geneva police arrested Hannibal Gaddafi, a son of Libyan ruler Moammar Gaddafi, and his wife on charges they abused their domestic staff at a city hotel. The servants later received compensation and withdrew the charges.

Libya insists that there is no connection between the detention of the businessmen and the Hannibal affair.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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