Court hands down first prison sentence for insider trading

A Zurich court has handed down a suspended prison term for insider trading

A 62-year-old former director of the Swiss Bank Corporation says he is to appeal against a six month suspended prison sentence for insider trading. It's the most severe punishment for insider trading that has been handed down in Switzerland.

This content was published on June 19, 2001 minutes

The Zurich court found the former director, who was not named, guilty of selling shares in the Biber paper factory in 1996 at a time when he had confidential information that the firm was in financial difficulties.

The court ruled that the director, who was also given a fine of SFr10,000 ($5,630), did not use the information for his personal gain.

According to the court, the former director knew at the end of July 1996 that the paper company's shares were worthless and that liquidation of the company was inevitable. The public were not aware of this situation, the court said.

The accused was said to have sold shares after this date for SFr5 million.

The prosecution had called for a suspended sentence of 18 months.

Investigations are frequently opened upon suspicion of insider trading in Switzerland but cases ending up in the courts are rare and generally end with acquittal.

Since the date of the offence, the Swiss Bank Corporation merged with the Union Bank of Switzerland to form UBS.

swissinfo with agencies

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