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Libya wants apology for Hannibal arrest photo

Libya is seeking a further apology from Switzerland for the publication of photos of one of Moammar Gaddafi's sons following his arrest in Geneva last July.

In an interview published on Thursday in the French-language magazine L'Hebdo, President Hans-Rudolf Merz said Gaddafi wanted punishment for whoever leaked the images of Hannibal Gaddafi.

The daily Tribune de Genève published Hannibal's mugshot several months after he was initially taken into custody, calling the photo a representation of the shame the arrest had brought upon Libya.

"For him, it was proof that Switzerland wanted new humiliation for the Libyans," Merz said. Hannibal and his heavily pregnant wife were arrested following accusations of assault by their domestic staff.

"There will be penalties if justice can shed light on this case," Merz told Gaddafi. The two leaders met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly last week.

Of his controversial August visit to Tripoli, where he apologised for the arrests, the Swiss president said, "Maybe I lacked communication in not announcing my trip in advance."

On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey asked the media to refrain from reporting on Libya.

"The best thing to do at this stage is to keep silent, I believe," she told journalists.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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