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Payments in the spotlight No further action on Swiss Clinton payments

The donations supported a development project in Liberia for reducing infant mortality

(EPA/Ahmed Jallanzo)

The foreign affairs committee of the House of Representatives has examined payments made by Switzerland to a project run by Hillary Clinton, who was US Secretary of State at the time.

The payments took place between 2011 and 2013, and attracted controversy after they were made public in a Sunday newspaper last week.

The committee concluded on Tuesday that no further action needs to be taken over the payments.

A total sum of CHF484,000 ($486,000) was given to the Clinton Health Access Initiative to support a project dedicated to reducing infant mortality in Liberia between 2011 and 2013. The money came from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

The Schweiz am Sonntag newspaper which reported the donations, said the timing of the financial contribution raised the question of a conflict of interest. The payments happened in multiple parts, and partially overlapped with negotiations over the exchange of information regarding American clients with Swiss bank accounts and the issue of tax evasion.

The committee said that in the view of the Swiss cabinet there was no conflict of interest. The cabinet’s position on the issue made clear that the payments are in line with legal guidelines and correspond to Switzerland’s development priorities.

A part of the committee believed that supporting projects connected to “politically exposed persons” was problematic in principle. However, the committee decided no further action was necessary in this case. 

Read more about the issue, below. and agencies

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