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Foreign minister absolved


No trace found of alleged Swiss deal with PLO


Experts have found no indication of a suspected secret deal between a former Swiss foreign minister and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1970 in the wake of terrorist attacks in Europe.

There had been allegations of undue government interference in a criminal judicial investigation into a bomb attack on a Swiss national airline passenger plane outside Zurich in February 1970, according to a statement published by the foreign ministry on Wednesday.

Last February, a panel including representatives from several government ministries, was set up with a government mandate to investigate the claims.

It checked about 400 official documents as well as the archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross and those of the late foreign minister, Pierre Graber, who was allegedly involved in a secret deal with Farouk Kaddoumi - a key PLO figure at the time.

“Having concluded its investigation, whose extent and procedures are detailed in its report, the working group did not find any source that confirms that a meeting took place in Geneva in September 1970 between Farouk Kaddoumi and Pierre Graber or any other high-ranking Swiss official,” the statement says.

“There are no written or oral indications,” a government spokesman added.

Parliamentary control committees are due to consider the findings later this month.

A report in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper claims that there had been a secret agreement and a possible link between the judicial procedures.

The allegations are part of a book by Swiss journalist Marcel Gyr, which is partly based on anonymous sources and was published at the beginning of the year.

Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch



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