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Italy and Switzerland sign anti-crime agreement

Switzerland and Italy will in future co-operate more closely in the fight against drugs and money-laundering

Swiss and Italian prosecutors have signed a memorandum of understanding to improve their fight against organised crime.

The understanding was in Rome on Monday by Switzerland’s federal prosecutor, Valentin Roschacher, and Pierluigi Vigna, Italy’s National anti-Mafia prosecutor.

The agreement will make it easier for Swiss and Italian investigators to exchange information more quickly on probes on weapons, drugs trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering, and corruption.

Vigna said the two delegations did not discuss the effects of a controversial law covering international investigations which Italy’s opposition has said smacks of blatant self-interest in favour of the prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi.

The legislation, passed on October 3, lays out strict new guidelines for Italian magistrates wishing to gain financial information from Swiss authorities.

The opposition says it could lead to corruption charges levelled against Berlusconi being thrown out of court.

When asked if they had discussed the new law, the two investigators said they had not, but Roschacher said: “We play our part and we hope that politicians don’t put up obstacles.”

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR