Jailed Swiss businessman Max Goeldi returns from Libya

Swiss businessman Max Goeldi (C) leaves the Swiss embassy on 22 February Max Goeldi was at the centre of a long-running row between the countries

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A Swiss businessman, held in a Libyan jail for four months, has arrived back in Zurich.

Max Goeldi was at the centre of a long-running diplomatic row between the two countries.

He and another Swiss businessman were held after the son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was arrested in Switzerland in 2008.

Correspondents say Mr Goeldi's release may allow a line to be drawn under the two-year-long row.

He boarded a plane back to Switzerland on Sunday following his release from jail on 10 June.

Travelling with Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, he landed at Zurich in the early hours of Monday morning.

Max Goeldi was sentenced in February to four months in prison for violating Libyan immigration rules.

Libya also took other measures, widely regarded as retaliation for the arrest.

The row began when Hannibal Gaddafi and his wife were arrested in Geneva in July 2008 accused of assaulting two servants while staying at a luxury hotel.

Although the charges were later dropped, Libya cancelled oil supplies, withdrew billions of dollars from Swiss banks, refused visas to Swiss citizens and recalled some of its diplomats.

The dispute worsened when a Swiss newspaper published leaked police photos of Mr Gaddafi.

Under an "action plan" mediated by Germany and Spain, Switzerland apologised for the "unlawful publication" of the photos, which constituted a "breach of confidentiality under Swiss law".

Mr Goeldi, the manager of an engineering firm, was held along with Rachid Hamdani, who works for a construction company.

They were later released on bail and then convicted in absentia while sheltering in the Swiss embassy in Tripoli.

Mr Hamdani was later cleared but Mr Goeldi was taken to prison in February after a tense stand-off outside the Swiss embassy.

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