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Bribery IT managers sentenced in ministry corruption case

Various computer equipment

Several IT companies and the Swiss government administration are involved in one of the biggest corruption cases in recent years. 

(© Keystone/Christian Beutler)

Four suspects have been sentenced in a major corruption case involving a unit of the Swiss economics ministry. But the main defendant is still awaiting a formal indictment. 

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) announced on Wednesday that a trustee was given a suspended six-month prison sentence and three external IT managers were ordered to pay fines for offering material contributions and gifts of up to CHF100,000 ($100,000) to a senior employee of the State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO). 

The trustee was found guilty of forging documents, money laundering and abetting, according to the OAGexternal link

Experts have criticised the verdict as being too light .

Martin Hilti, director of the Swiss branch of Transparency Internationalexternal link, told Swiss public radio that the OAG ruling was "irritating" considering the crimes committed.

He also called for a better protection of whistle-blowers and increased efforts to investigate suspected corruption cases.     

Main defendant

The SECO employee is accused of awarding contracts worth millions of francs without a public bidding process for IT projects since 2004, as well as accepting money and other favours. 

The cases against the SECO employee - as well as other defendants - are still pending, five years after the corruption scandal was brought to light by investigative journalists working for the Tages-Anzeiger and Der Bund newspapers. 

Transparency International Switzerland ranked among least corrupt in global index

For the second year running, Switzerland has been ranked third in Transparency International’s (TI) 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index.

This content was published on January 29, 2019 9:00 AM

swissinfo.ch/ug

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