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Hess quits board of Liechtenstein company

Peter Hess is feeling the pressure


The speaker of Switzerland's national assembly, Peter Hess, is to resign from the board of a Liechtenstein company thought to be linked to the funding scandal of Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

Hess told Swiss radio he would be ending his involvement with Liechtenstein's Argliw Anstalt immediately.

He denied having had any dealings with one of the company's board members, Oswald Bühler, who has been accused of involvement in the slush fund scandal surrounding the CDU and its former leader, the previous German chancellor, Helmut Kohl.

Hess announced at the weekend that he would be giving up his interests in five offshore companies, including Argliw Anstalt, amid speculation that they may have been involved in money laundering.

He had said, though, that he would wait for Swiss investigations into the companies' activities to end before taking any definite action.

Hess has come under fire for failing to disclose his involvement with these companies before taking up his position as president of the House of Representatives.

His business interests last hit the headlines in February, when it was revealed that he was on the board of British-American Tobacco. The company was fingered for encouraging cigarette smuggling in the early 1990s. Hess resigned as soon as his affiliation with the firm became known.

swissinfo with agencies

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