Money Jihad has the story:
May 3, 2012
Beatrice Stockly, a Christian woman from Switzerland who worked in Timbuktu, was abducted earlier this month after an Islamist coup in the once democratic nation of Mali. Reports indicate that Stockly may have been sold by her captives to the fundamentalist Muslim group Ansar Dine.
Ansar Dine then released Stockly on Apr. 24 after reportedly brokering a deal with the Swiss government. Officials from Burkina Faso, whose special forces accepted the handover of Stockly by Ansar Dine, denied that any ransom was paid.
Naturally, Switzerland and Burkina Faso must deny the claim that a ransom was paid because: 1) paying such ransoms violates international law, 2) announcing ransom payments in public encourages further abductions by the jihadists, and 3) paying ransoms indicates the countries are not prepared to use force to free their kidnapped citizens.
But it is only logical to assume that a payment was in fact made. There would have been no incentive for Ansar Dine to release the woman otherwise. Moreover, Islamic law permits the collection of ransoms after abducting non-Muslims—a precept with which Ansar Dine is certainly familiar. Ansar Dine probably has a little more spending money today than it had prior to the Stockly affair.