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Madagascar murder Swiss re-open case of murdered aid worker

Women wash their clothes in a river in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar

(Keystone)

The Swiss Office of the Attorney General has re-opened the case of Swiss aid worker Walter Arnold, strangled on Madagascar in 1996. A Sunday newspaper asks whether Arnold was killed to cover up a scandal involving a high-ranking official at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). 

“Based on new information from the family of the deceased, we have resumed proceedings,” Ladina Gapp, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, confirmed to the SonntagsBlick. 

The paper reported on Sundayexternal link that a former vice-director of the SDC had run a brothel in Madagascar in the 1990s which he helped fund with Swiss development money. Witnesses say the man, who has since died, managed the business with a former prostitute and reportedly offered “special services for grey-haired Swiss men”. 

+ Fifty years of Madagascar aid reaches end

Arnold, the paper suggested, had uncovered this and was founded strangled in a car in the capital Antananarivo in 1996. No one has ever been charged. 

The SonntagsBlick based its report on unnamed sources. It referred to an entry to the attorney general’s office on May 24, 2017, which contained comments from a lawyer for the “brothel hotel” in Morondava, a city on the west coast of the island in the Indian Ocean. 

The attorney general’s office has meanwhile sent a new request for legal assistance to Madagascar, but it has not received a reply.

swissinfo.ch and agencies/ts


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