In the news this weekend: suspect money from Angola frozen in Switzerland, more Alzheimer’s sufferers and an increasing number of legal complaints for verbal abuse and slander. Here’s a round-up of some top stories in the Swiss Sunday papers.
The Le Matin Dimanche/SonntagsZeitung newspapers report that Switzerland has frozen over CHF160 million ($159 million) originating from Angola, linked to the collapse in 2014 of Banco Espirito Santo, at the time Portugal's largest private bank.
According to the papers, the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has confirmed the freezing of the funds as part of an ongoing legal procedure. The federal prosecutor’s office reportedly accuses the Angolan banker Alvaro Sobrinho, who oversaw the Angolan branch of Banco Espirito Santo, of money laundering. Swiss bank Credit Suisse, where Sobrinho held numerous accounts in Zurich, has also reportedly accepted large sums of suspect money, the papers said. Sobrinho’s lawyer rejected the charges against his client. Credit Suisse also refused to comment on the revelations but said it respects current legal regulations. The Swiss justice authorities have been investigating this affair since 2014.
According to Zentralschweiz am Sonntag, around 144,000 Swiss people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, out of a population of 8.3 million. This figure is 20,000 people higher than normally quoted, it writes, citing new figures from the association Alzheimer Switzerland. Half the population know someone who is affected by Alzheimer’s disease. In view of the aging population – average life expectancy for men 80 years; 84 years for women - the total figure is expected to continue to rise.
The Le Matin Dimanche reports that since 2009 the annual number of legal complaints filed in Switzerland for verbal insults, defamation and slander have increased significantly. Complaints for slander have doubled from 667 to 1,384, whilst those for verbal insults have risen from 5,775 a year to 9,434. In 82% of cases the person found guilty is male. The newspaper reflects on this growing phenomenon in Swiss society and whether it is a sign of increasing verbal abuse in society or people’s lower tolerance levels.