A Swiss official stated yesterday that Switzerland is collaborating with the current governing bodies in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya to allow the recovery of around $850 million of assets deposited in accounts linked to those countries’ previous rulers.
Since the beginning of the Arab Spring, the Swiss government had ordered banks to block accounts under suspicion of connection with former Lybian leader Muammar Gaddafi. Part of those funds has already been made available to the country’s new authorities.
Nevertheless, Valentin Zellweger, head of international law at the Swiss Foreign Ministry, emphasized that the asset recovery process is expected to take a long time. Previous cases like those of Philippine’s Ferdinand Marcos and Nigeria’s Sani Abacha have shown that the Swiss legal system provided them with numerous opportunities of appealing against unfavorable decisions, and the same should be observed in the case of Ben Ali, Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Gaddafi.
Read the full article Swiss say trying to release dictators’ stashed loot on trust.org. The picture above is also featured in the article and is credited to Reuters and Denis Balibouse.