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Merz and Calmy-Rey questioned on Libya

A parliamentary foreign policy commission has heard - behind closed doors - statements from cabinet ministers regarding the so-called "Libyan dossier".

Martine Brunschwig Graf, a member of the commission, described the information given by Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz, Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey and head of the Geneva police, Laurent Moutinot, on Tuesday as "convincing".

She said Moutinot had confirmed that the arrest in Geneva in July 2008 of Hannibal Gaddafi, son of the Libyan leader, and his wife, had conformed to Swiss law. The Gaddafi couple were held for allegedly physically mistreating two of their servants.

In the aftermath of the arrest, two Swiss nationals were detained in Libya accused of violating visa regulations. They are still there despite comments by the Libyan prime minister that they would be free by September 1.

Merz and Calmy-Rey on Tuesday informed the commission in Geneva on the state of relations between Switzerland and Libya.

Merz went to Tripoli on August 20 and apologised for the arrest, an action which triggered intense controversy in Switzerland since he did not have the backing of the cabinet as a whole.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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