Federal court backs UBS data handover

Switzerland must continue to hand over data from clients at the bank UBS to the United States tax authorities, according to a court ruling published on Monday.

This content was published on July 19, 2010 - 19:30 and agencies

The Federal Administrative Court ruling rejected an appeal by a UBS client opposing the transfer of data.

The court found that an accord between the two countries that had been approved by parliament on June 17 should be enforced by Switzerland. The treaty signed by the countries last year sets out the handover of 4,450 UBS client data as part a tax probe.

The court further said that the treaty should be enforced even if it breached the Swiss constitution, national laws and the European Convention of Human Rights. The court said Swiss economic interests and ability to respect commitments following international law would be in jeopardy if the treaty was not fulfilled.

The court also noted that the fact that the law was retroactive was compatible with international law.

In a January ruling on the issue the court had found the accord was not valid.

According to the treaty, Switzerland has until August 26 to provide US tax authorities with the data of clients who are suspected of having committed tax fraud in the US between 2001 and 2008.

Data for 2,450 clients has already been handed over. Of the remaining 2,000, 900 cases are being processed and others have just to be transferred. and agencies

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