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[Published: Thursday July 24 2008]

Libya suspends Swiss oil shipments'

Tripoli ,25 July-(ANA)- Oil shipments to Switzerland by Libyas stateoil company has been suspended in protest at the brief arrest of leader MuammarGaddafi's youngest son, Libyan officials have said.

Libya has also threatened further action if the Swiss did not apologise for thearrest.

Geneva police held Hannibal Gaddafi for two days after he and his pregnant wifeallegedly hit two of their staff.

Thecouple face charges of bodily harm, threatening behaviour and coercion. Theyhave denied any wrongdoing over the alleged incident on 15 July.

Thestopping of oil shipments comes a day after the Swiss foreign ministrycomplained of Libyataking "retaliatory measures", such as forcing Swiss firms to closeLibyan offices.

Libya 'sGeneral National Maritime Transport Company - which has links to HannibalGaddafi - said in a statement that it had halted all oil shipments to Switzerland.

TheSwiss foreign ministry said on Wednesday that Libya had "taken a number ofworrying retaliatory measures" for Mr Gaddafi's arrest since he wasreleased on bail on 17 July.

Itsaid Swiss companies ABB and Nestle had been ordered to close their Libya officesand that Swiss staff there had been arrested.

Flightsbetween Libya and Switzerland had been reduced, Libya had stopped issuing visas to Swisscitizens and Tripoli had recalled some of itsdiplomats from Bern,the Swiss foreign ministry said.

Theministry also said it had sent a delegation to Libya to explain Mr Gaddafi'sarrest. It has advised Swiss citizens not to travel to Libya untilfurther notice.

Itis not Hannibal Gaddafi's first brush with the law. In 2005 he was convicted bya court in Franceof assaulting his girlfriend. (ANA)

FA/ANA/25July 2008---

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