Swiss assets a small part of frozen funds sought by Libyan rebels

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Swiss officials, like those in the European Union, say they must wait for a new United Nations resolution before allowing financial institutions to release frozen assets of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi and his entourage, but several countries are meeting in Doha today, 24 August, to discuss an emergency request for $2.5 from Libya’s National Transitional Council.

The UN Security Council’s resolution in early 2011 to block Qaddafi assets led to an estimated $100 billion being frozen, in several countries, according to the Financial Times, which lists the US as the largest holder, at $37b, and the US $12, with Germany holding another $7.3b.

The exact amount frozen in Switzerland has not been confirmed by the Swiss government, but it is likely to be a fraction of the total blocked, possibly less than CHF1 billion, according to earlier figures released by the government. Libya withdrew much of the money it had in Swiss banks and other financial institutions in 2008 after Hannibal Qaddafi, the younger son of Muammar, was arrested at a Geneva hotel for attacking one of his employees.