• Switzerland's news in English

Switzerland freezes Qaddafi assets

AFP/The Local · 25 Feb 2011, 10:52

Published: 25 Feb 2011 10:52 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Switzerland has ordered an immediate freeze on any assets that may belong to defiant Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi and his entourage, the Swiss foreign ministry said in a statement.

Switzerland on Thursday ordered an immediate freeze on any assets that may belong to defiant Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi and his entourage, the Swiss foreign ministry said in a statement.
"The Federal Council (government) condemns the violence used by the Libyan strongman against the people in the strongest terms," the ministry said in a statement.
"In view of the developments the Federal Council has decided to block with immediate effect any possible assets of Muammar Qaddafi and his entourage in Switzerland," it added.
The Swiss government said it wanted to avoid any misappropriation of Libyan state property that might still be in Switzerland.
Switzerland has been locked in a bitter standoff with Libya's ruling Qaddafi family since the brief arrest of a son of the Libyan leader, Hannibal, in a Geneva hotel in July 2008 on suspicion of assaulting two of his domestic workers.
Among other measures, the dispute triggered economic sanctions by Libya including the mass withdrawal of Libyan assets from the Alpine country's prized and secretive banking sector.
The Swiss central bank told AFP on Thursday that total Swiss banking relations with Libya amounted to 613 million Swiss francs, with an additional 205 million francs in paper or fiduciary operations.
That compared with 5.7 billion and 812 million francs respectively in 2007, before the diplomatic spat.
The figures relate to overall commitments involving Libyan assets, not necessarily to funds linked to the Qaddafi family that might be blocked.
The move came amid growing international condemnation and diplomatic moves against violence in Libya, after Qaddafi reacted to the most serious challenge to his 41-year rule with deadly force.
Story continues below…
At least 640 people have died according to the International Federation for Human Rights.
On Monday, Berne condemned "targeted violence" by Libyan authorities on protestors and broke off a key step in resolving the bilateral dispute under a tentative agreement with Tripoli last year.
It suspended preparatory work on an international arbitration tribunal that the Swiss say they were forced to accept in exchange for the release of two Swiss businessmen retained in Libya.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Villagers asked to help fund bridge renovations
The bridge links the two villages of Veltheim (pictured) and Holderbank. Photo: Lutz Fischer-Lamprecht

The crowdfunding campaign by the two communes is the first of its kind in Switzerland.

Police discover body buried in Orbe house
File photo: Bas Leenders

Police have opened an investigation after finding a body buried in a house in Orbe, in the canton of Vaud, on Saturday.

Valais shaken by 4.2 magnitude earthquake
The earthquake hit in the canton of Valais near Sierre. Photo: Alain Rouiller

It's the biggest earthquake to hit the country for two years.

Swiss Indoors kicks off without champ Federer
Federer celebrates with ball girls and boys after winning the event in 2015. Photo: Harold Cunningham/Pool/AFP

Stan Wawrinka is top seed as injured Federer sits it out.

IOC hires Russian doping whistleblower as consultant
IOC President Thomas Bach confirmed the news. File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has hired Vitaly Stepanov as a consultant and is helping his runner wife Yuliya.

‘Scary clown’ craze hits streets of Zurich
Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP

Police in Zurich have warned so-called ‘scary clowns’ that they could face charges, following a number of incidents in the city.

VIDEO: driver chases runaway car on Swiss motorway
Image: Neuchâtel police

Shocking footage shows the moment a man dodged lorries to chase after his runaway car on a Swiss motorway.

Saas-Fee crowdfunds low-cost season ski pass
Saas-Fee is hoping to attract 99,999 season pass holders. Photo: Denis Emery/Photo-genic.ch

Skiers could get their hands on a whole season pass for just 222 francs ($223) in the Swiss resort of Saas Fee this winter – if enough people want one.

Swiss billionaire fined for dodging import tax
Urs Schwarzenbach owns the luxury Dolder Grand hotel in Zurich. Photo: Wilhem Rosenkranz

Urs Schwarzenbach faces a $4 million fine for failing to properly declare some 200 artworks imported into Switzerland.

Muslim woman wins headscarf court battle
Photo: Jack Guez / AFP

A Swiss court has ruled against a company that fired a longtime employee after she began wearing the Muslim headscarf.

Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
jobs available