Two Swiss released from Libyan jail

Two Swiss citizens caught up in a diplomatic row over the arrest of Moammar Gaddafi's son have been released from custody, the foreign ministry announced on Tuesday.

This content was published on July 29, 2008 - 22:24

The men were granted bail by a judge in Tripoli earlier in the day and are presently at the Swiss embassy and are described to be in good health.

They were detained on July 19 on alleged immigration violations and have not yet been allowed to leave Libya, the Swiss foreign ministry said.

It said in a statement that "talks between Switzerland and Libya are continuing at a diplomatic level to resolve the tensions in the bilateral relationship".

Tensions have been high since the July 15 arrest of Hannibal Gaddafi and his pregnant wife in a Geneva hotel on charges will ill-treatment of two domestic employees. The couple, which deny the allegations, were released on SFr500,000 ($478,300) bail and have since left Switzerland.

Switzerland has warned its citizens to keep away from travelling to Libya. The Libyan foreign ministry has reciprocated, cautioning its people to avoid "arbitrary measures, lack of respect and humiliation" at the hands of Swiss authorities.

Last week, Tripoli said it had halted oil shipments to Switzerland and had suspended the issuing of visas to Swiss nationals.

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