Report: Geneva agrees to pay Gaddafi compensation
The Canton of Geneva has agreed to pay Hannibal Gaddafi, a senior Libyan, compensation for arrest photos of him that were published in a local paper, Swiss media reported late Tuesday, dpa reported.
According to a document filed to a Swiss court, and obtained by the 10 vor 10 television news programme, the canton said the leak of the photos to the paper was "highly regrettable" and it would agree to "fair compensation."
The report was the latest in an increasingly deteriorating row between Switzerland and Libya dating back to 2008, when Geneva police briefly detained Hannibal, son of Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi, along with his wife, after receiving complaints that they were abusing their servants.
A few days later, Libya arrested Max Goldi and another Swiss businessman, released earlier this year, on visa charges. Goldi is considered a political prisoner by Amnesty International, which this week said his health was deteriorating in jail.
Gaddafi has cut nearly all trade links between the two countries and declared a holy war - or jihad - against the Alpine nation.
Switzerland recently imposed a visa ban on some 180 senior Libyans. The restriction has, at least temporarily, spread to nearly all states of the Schengen zone of free movement, covering most of Europe. Tripoli then ordered a retaliatory ban on most Europeans.
Last week, Libya issued four demands of the Swiss for an end to the row, including lifting the visa ban and putting on trial those responsible for Hannibal's arrest and the photo leak.
The canton was meanwhile also asking the court that the local paper, Tribune de Geneve, contribute to the compensation.
Geneva authorities have already launched an investigation into the leak, saying it was a violation of local laws and "official secrecy."
Tripoli also wants an arbitration commission, which could award damages for the initial arrest of Gaddafi.