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UBS sees lawsuit against it rejected in US

A United States federal judge in New York has dismissed claims against Switzerland's largest bank, UBS, for allegedly aiding the apartheid regime in South Africa.

This content was published on April 10, 2009 - 18:09

But in long-standing litigation by apartheid victims against large corporations, she allowed a number of claims of aiding and abetting the apartheid regime.

The claims are against General Motors, Ford, Daimler, IBM and the German Rheinmetall group, which bought Swiss armaments maker Oerlikon Contraves in 1999.

Contraves had supplied mainly anti-air defence weapons to the apartheid regime.

"We are very satisfied with the decision," commented Mark Arena, a UBS spokesman. We have rejected the lawsuit as unjustified from the beginning."

A lawyer for one group of the victims, Michael Hausfeld, said there were still concerns that banks "knowingly funded those agencies of the government which abused the population".

"We're considering whether that issue should proceed to the next level."

Other Swiss companies involved in the litigation include Credit Suisse, Holcim, Ems-Chemie, Novartis, Nestlé, Unaxis (now part of OC Oerlikon) and Sulzer.

swissinfo with agencies

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