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Diplomatic spat    Swiss embassy employee in Sri Lanka granted bail

The employee being escorted by police on December 16

The employee, seen being escorted by an officer in Colombo on December 16, claims she was abducted in a bid to get her to disclose "embassy-related information".

(Keystone / Chamila Karunarathne)

A court in Sri Lanka has granted bail to a Swiss embassy staff member who had been arrested two weeks ago on charges that she stoked anti-government sentiment and fabricated evidence, local media reported.  

The local television channel Sirasa reported her release, according to the Associated Press.  The move was confirmed by the Swiss Foreign Ministry in several Swiss media, including Swiss public television SRFexternal link, on Monday. It added that it took note of the court’s decision but made no further comment on the latest developments.

The employee, a Sri Lankan national, claimed that she had been abducted on November 25 and threatened by her captors in an alleged effort to get her to disclose “embassy-related information”.  

The incident took place a day after a senior Sri Lankan police officer arrived in Switzerland to apply for asylum. 

The Swiss government condemned the alleged attack as “unacceptable” and summoned the Sri Lankan ambassador. 

The Sri Lankan authorities have said they have evidence that contradicts the woman’s version of events. Prior to her arrest, a court blocked her from leaving the country

Upon her detention, Swiss diplomats appealed for her transfer to a hospital on health and humanitarian grounds. The Swiss foreign ministry also announced it would dispatch a Swiss diplomat, Jörg Frieden, to Colombo in a bid to break the diplomatic deadlock.  

AP/swissinfo.ch/gw

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