Libyan court fines Swiss man, to rule on a second

A Libyan judge fined one of two Swiss businessmen whose convictions for breaking immigration rules, their lawyer said.

Libyan court fines Swiss man, to rule on a second

A Libyan judge on Saturday fined one of two Swiss businessmen whose convictions for breaking immigration rules, their lawyer said.

"The judge convicted Max Goeldi on the charges of violating business rules in Libya and fined him 1,000 dinars ($801.3)," defence lawyer Salah Zahaf added.

Goeldi and Rachid Hamdani have already been convicted on separate charges of violating Libya's immigration rules and sentenced to 16 months in prison. Amnesty International said their convictions did not meet international standards for fair trial.

The judge in a Tripoli court is due to rule in the case of the second Swiss man Rachid Hamdani on the same charges of violating business rules, Zahaf said. "We are considering whether we would lodge an appeal against Goeldi's fine. We have yet to decide," he added.

The trials, on charges of violating business rules, have been deadlocked for weeks because the two men refused to attend. Both have been staying inside the Swiss embassy in Tripoli, where the Libyan authorities have no jurisdiction.

The trial of Goeldi, head of Libyan operations for Swiss-Swedish engineering firm ABB moved forward after he left the embassy to appear in court last week, lawyer Zahaf said.

Hamdani, who works for a construction company, is expected to hear his verdict on Sunday, according to the lawyer.

The two men were barred from leaving Libya in July 2008 after Swiss prosecutors briefly arrested Hannibal Gaddafi, a son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, on charges of mistreating two domestic employees during a visit to Switzerland.

The charges were later dropped but Libya cut oil supplies to Switzerland and withdrew more than $5 billion in assets from Swiss banks. Libyan officials deny any connection between the arrest in Switzerland and the case of the two businessmen.

Reuters

Last Mod: 06 Şubat 2010, 18:04
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