Government confirms nuclear papers destroyed

The Swiss cabinet has confirmed that documents seized as part of a nuclear smuggling investigation have been shredded as per international guidelines.

This content was published on May 23, 2008

Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin said on Friday that detailed plans for the construction of an atomic bomb were among the papers seized after federal prosecutors began investigating a family of Swiss engineers in 2004.

The father and sons – Friedrich, Marco and Urs Tinner - were suspected of helping to supply parts for Libya's nuclear weapons programme through a trafficking ring run by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan's atom bomb.

Couchepin said Switzerland was not allowed to keep the documents under the terms of the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, given the risk they could fall into "the hands of a terrorist organisation or a non-authorised state."

The head of a parliamentary control committee had already announced earlier this week the destruction of the papers.

There had been widespread media speculation that the United States Central Intelligence Agency, which had allegedly employed the Tinners, had requested the shredding of the documents.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

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