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Senate rejects formal inquiry into Stasi links

The Swiss Senate has turned down a proposal for a formal study, to be financed by the government, into Switzerland's links with the former East German secret service, the Stasi.

The Senate rejected a move to appoint a historian to lead an investigation on the issue. The inquiry would have cost SFr4 million.

The proposal, which had already been approved by the House of Representatives, was rejected by a 23-9 vote. The measure now goes back to the House for further consideration.

Members of the Senate argued that it would be wrong for the state to carry out the investigation.

The Justice minister, Ruth Metzler, told the Senate the cabinet had never been enthusiastic about the idea of an official investigation, but the research could be carried out at a university.

One member of the Senate said it would be better to investigate the dangers posed by organised crime, rather than look into the Stasi which was no longer a threat.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR