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Bern pays damages for woman's death in US

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Bern pays damages for woman's death in US
Switzerland's embassy in Washington, DC. Photo: FDFA
18:07 CEST+02:00
Switzerland says it has paid $1.7 million in compensation after a Swiss embassy driver, who once worked for the Gaddafi family, hit and killed a woman in Washington in 2011.

The embassy driver, a former servant of Hannibal Gaddafi — one of the sons of toppled Libyan dictator Muammar  Gaddafi — has since been sacked, the federal department of foreign affairs (FDFA) said on Wednesday.
   
The Swiss government will pay the woman's husband $1.4 (1.3 million euros), while civil liability insurance will cover the remaining $300,000, it said.
   
Trudith Rishikof was crossing a busy street in the US capital on October 6th 2011 when she was hit by a large Swiss embassy vehicle.
   
Harvey Rishikof, a former professor of law and national security at Washington's National Defence University and an expert on terrorism, filed a lawsuit against the Swiss government, demanding $10 million in compensation.
   
The driver was Kamal Mortada, a Moroccan man who had been given Swiss protection in the wake of the so-called Geneva affair in 2008, when cantonal police arrested Hannibal Gaddafi and his wife after complaints they abused two of their staff.
   
Relations between Libya and Switzerland plummeted after the arrest, with Libya taking a number of retaliatory measures.
   
Tripoli imposed economic measures against Switzerland, including closing Swiss companies and stopping flights, and arrested two Swiss nationals working in Libya.
   
Mortada, who was 41 at the time of the accident, had been moved to Washington as there were fears for his safety in Switzerland.
   
The department of foreign affairs said it terminated his contract at the end of 2014.

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