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Switzerland demands Libya free 'hostages'

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Switzerland demands Libya free 'hostages'

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The president of Switzerland is coming under increasing pressure to extricate himself from a complicated situation involving Colonel Gaddafi’s son and two Swiss businessmen held in Libya.

Hans-Rudolf Merz apologised to Tripoli last week for his country’s arrest last year of Hannibal Gaddafi, which saw the two businessmen banned from leaving Libya, and oil exports to Switzerland briefly cut. Merz made his unprecedented apology, but has so far failed to secure the release of the two hostages. Many Swiss are not sure what to make of it. They want the two businessmen freed but are not happy at their president bowing the knee to Tripoli. Hannibal Gaddafi and his wife were arrested in Geneva last year, accused of beating and abusing their domestic servants. The case was later dropped, but Libya had already accused the Swiss businessmen of visa irregularities and, a year later, they still cannot fly home.