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Pakistani nuclear expert denies supplying plans

A Sunday newspaper has added a new twist to the controversy over the Swiss government's shredding of nuclear documents.

The NZZ am Sonntag carries an interview with Abdul Qadeer Khan, "the father of Pakistan's atom bomb", in which he denies supplying the Swiss Tinner family with the plans for a nuclear weapon which the government destroyed at the end of 2007.

The Tinners - father Friedrich and sons Marco and Urs – are accused of helping to supply parts for Libya's nuclear weapons programme through a trafficking ring run by Khan. The weapon plans were seized as part of the investigation into the Tinners' activities.

Khan told the Zurich-based newspaper that neither Pakistan nor he himself "had anything to do with what Tinner or his sons had on their computers."

He also rejected allegations by US weapons expert David Albright earlier this month that he had supplied the Tinners with plans for advanced weapons systems that could be used on the long range missiles possessed by North Korea and Iran.

The Swiss government says it shredded the weapon plans in accordance with the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to prevent them from falling into "the hands of a terrorist organisation or a non-authorised state."

Khan alleged that the shredding was done under pressure from the US government. "If Switzerland had declassified these documents, it would have taken the wind from the sails of US propaganda," he said.

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