Max Goeldi, Swiss businessman, starts Libyan prison term

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Rashid Hamdani, left and Max Goeldi, right, at the Swiss embassy in Tripoli in 2009

Tripoli, Libya (GenevaLunch) - The Swiss government remains officially silent but news reports from journalists in Tripoli, including a Reuters reporter, say that Swiss businessman Max Goeldi has surrendered to Libya authorities, to begin a four-month prison sentence. The Swiss will ask for clemency, and if it is granted, Human Rights Watch says, this would be a sign that the political crisis is over between Switzerland and Libya.

Libyan security forces surrounded the Swiss embassy in Tripoli after giving Switzerland a deadline to hand over Goeldi, who has been staying at the embassy. The second Swiss businessman held by Libya but whose charges were recently dropped, Rashid Hamdani from the Lake Geneva region, appears to have been allowed to leave the embassy and is reported to have traveled to Tunisia by car.

Background, GenevaLunch

Links to other sites: Al Jazeera, Amnesty International, Le Temps (Fre), TSR (Fre)