Swiss man arrested in row with Libya goes on trial

January 30, 2010 17:51

, (AP) — A Swiss man arrested in during a diplomatic row between the two countries appeared in court Saturday to face charges of operating a business without a license, his lawyer said. The judge announced he will issue a verdict in March.

The trials of Max Goeldi and another Swiss businessman, Rachid Hamdani, are at the heart of a diplomatic dispute that has sorely taxed Libyan-Swiss relations.

The two men were detained in in 2008 days after police in arrested Hannibal Gadhafi, the son of 's leader, and his wife for allegedly beating their servants in a hotel. accused authorities there of using excessive force during Gadhafi's arrest.

Libya responded by recalling some of its diplomats from Switzerland, suspending visas for Swiss citizens, withdrawing funds from Swiss banks, stopping crude oil shipments and reducing flights to Switzerland.

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