Terrorism investigators given new evidence by US

Nada Management's offices on Lake Lugano Keystone Archive

Investigators probing individuals and firms suspected of funding terrorism say they have been given fresh evidence by the United States.

This content was published on November 30, 2001 - 16:59

A team of investigators, led by deputy federal prosecutor, Claude Nicati, spent four days in Washington meeting with officials from the justice and treasury departments, the FBI and deputy attorney-general Larry Thompson.

"We got hold of the documents and information we have been asking for," Hansjürg Wiedmer, a spokesman for the Swiss justice ministry, told swissinfo.

"All in all we are very happy with these meetings. It was very important to meet each other and also to see there is a common goal here, which is to bring those responsible for the assaults of September 11 to justice."

Wiedmer said US investigators were expected to hand over more information shortly. However, he refused to disclose the contents of the documents, arguing that they were part of an "open criminal investigation in Switzerland".

That investigation is believed to relate to an ongoing inquiry into the Lugano-based financial services company, Nada Management, formerly known as al-Taqwa.

Financing terrorism

The company's offices in Switzerland were raided on November 7 - the same day that the organisation was accused by Washington of financing terrorism.

Nada Management's two financial directors, Youssef Mustafa Nada and Ali Ghaleb Himmat, were detained for questioning at the time and later released. Nada has denied any connection with suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network.

A fortnight ago, Nicati revealed he had been unable to establish a link between Nada Management and terrorism, and would be heading to Washington in pursuit of new evidence.

Frozen assets

In a further development on Friday, the cabinet announced that it was freezing the assets of an additional 62 individuals and organisations suspected by the United Nations of having links to international terrorism.

The Swiss government first drew up a list of proscribed individuals and organisations in October last year after the United Nations imposed sanctions on the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

The cabinet also announced that from January 1 next year the federal government would take over powers from the cantons to investigate organised crime, money laundering and corruption.

swissinfo with agencies

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