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South Africa helps Switzerland in apartheid links investigation

Apartheid-era agent Wouter Basson, who is under investigation by the Swiss. Keystone

South Africa has sent Switzerland documents relating to the case of the former secret service agent Wouter Basson. The Apartheid-era agent is alleged to have had a network of contacts in Switzerland, which is under investigation.

The South African prosecutor, Anton Ackermann, was responding to a Swiss request for help in uncovering Basson’s links in the country, and handed over the documents last week, a Swiss justice ministry spokesman said.

Viktor Schlumpf told the SonntagsZeitung newspaper that Switzerland had asked South Africa for legal assistance several months ago.

Basson is the former head of South Africa’s military laboratories, where controversial chemical and biological weapons research was carried out. He is currently on trial in South Africa on charges of murder and fraud.

He visited Switzerland on several occasions, and in 1991 met Peter Regli, the then head of Swiss military intelligence. The federal prosecutor opened an investigation into his alleged activities in Switzerland one year ago, including espionage and customs fraud.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR