Ziegler denies friendship with Qaddafi but heading to Libya to celebrate coup anniversary

The Geneva lawyer of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, Charles Poncet, says that Switzerland should have chosen Jean Ziegler, the recently-elected vice-chair of the UN Human Rights Council’s Advisory Committee, to resolve the year-long diplomatic crisis that has Libya still holding two Swiss citizens as hostages.

In response to the arrest of the dictator’s son in Geneva last July, Libya also pulled out billions in Swiss bank deposits and halted oil exports that previously amounted to more than half of all crude going into Switzerland. Qaddafi has recently been giving speeches at various international summits calling for the dismantling of Switzerland, which he calls a terrorist state for its alleged harboring of Al Qaeda cash.

Poncet said that Ziegler is a close and long-time friend of Qaddafi, going back 35-40 years. UN Watch has documented in detail Ziegler’s Libyan connections, such as his 1989 co-founding of the Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize, awarded in 2002 to Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy, and to Ziegler himself.

Ziegler denied today that he has “any links of friendship or complicity” with Qaddafi, but says he is rather “regularly received by him as a sociologist.” Ziegler also said that he is off to the Libyan capital on September 1st on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Qaddafi’s coup d’etat.

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