Libya frees detained Swiss businessman, lawyer says
A Swiss businessman detained in Libya following a dispute between Swiss and Libyan authorities was released Thursday night, his lawyer told the German Press Agency dpa.
Lawyer Saleh al-Zahaf said that businessman Max Goldi was in good health, and after all formalities were completed, would likely leave the country on Saturday or Sunday.
Goldi was released a few days before his four-month prison term was to end.
Goldi and fellow businessman Rachid al-Hamdani were arrested in July 2008, days after police in Geneva questioned Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi's son Hannibal and his wife following a complaint that they had abused domestic staff at a Geneva hotel.
Although the case was later dropped, relations between Switzerland and Libya deteriorated.
Soon after, Libya prevented the two Swiss businessmen from leaving the country, and subsequently tried them on visa violations. Both men were sentenced to 16 months in prison on charges of illegal business activity and visa infractions.
Al-Hamdani, who has joint Swiss and Tunisian nationality, was acquitted of both charges, and was allowed to leave Libya.
Goldi was fined 1,000 Libyan dinars (780 dollars) for conducting illegal business in the country.