Swiss prosecutors will not pursue Novartis over Trump lawyer payments

Novartis admitted that it had signed a one-year contract with the company of Trump’s private lawyer, Michael Cohen. Keystone

The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) announced on Wednesday that it will not bring proceedings against Novartis in connection with the payments the Swiss pharmaceutical company made to Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.   

This content was published on June 6, 2018 - 18:00

The OAGExternal link had received a criminal complaint alleging that Novartis had bribed a foreign public official by paying CHF1.2 million ($1.2 million) to Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen in 2017.

Novartis admitted in May that it had signed a one-year contract with the company of Trump’s private lawyer to gain insights into the US administration’s thinking on healthcare issues. The company used the same bank account for the payments that was also used in the Stormy Daniels case.

Novartis has since called the pact a mistake.

+ Novartis has recently swapped CEOs

The OAG said it would not open criminal proceedings against the company because there was not sufficient evidence of bribery. The payments could not be linked to a breach of duty on the part of the recipient, therefore the conditions for Novartis’ criminal liability were not fulfilled.

The offence of undue influence does not exist in Swiss law.

The OAG said it would reserve the right to re-examine the situation should new evidence emerge.

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