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The week in review

Expo.02 gets the green light for government cash and compensation claims by a fugitive of Nazi Germany are rejected. Here is a closer look at these and other stories which have made the news this week.

This content was published on January 22, 2000 - 19:10

There was hopeful news for Switzerland's planned but troubled national exhibition, Expo.02. At the end of the week, the organisers presented a new study and said they had fulfilled the government's financial conditions for the project to go ahead.

The board said the government should now give the project the green light and release a SFr250 million subsidy approved by parliament in December. The government is set to give its verdict by the middle of next month.

Organisers said they had met the government's conditions by cutting the exhibition's total budget by SFr357 million to SFr1.4 billion. They said they had received pledges from private industry to invest an extra SFr289 million in the project, and that further contributions were being negotiated.

In a much-awaited verdict, the federal court in Lausanne rejected a claim for compensation by a fugitive of Nazi Germany who was turned back at the Swiss border in the Second World War and forced to return to German-occupied France. From there Joseph Spring was deported to Auschwitz concentration camp but survived.

In its verdict, the court turned down Spring's claim for SFr100,000 compensation but agreed to pay him the same amount in legal costs.

In another legal case, the authorities sayid they are providing judicial assistance to Nigeria to help it recover assets belonging to the late dictator, Sani Abacha. More than US$640 million held by Abacha and his associates in Swiss banks have been frozen.

There was disappointment among those seeking the cause of a Crossair plane crash near Zürich last week in which all ten people on board were killed. At a press conference in Kloten airport on Friday, federal investigators said the flight recorders gave no indication of a human or technical error.

Crossair's parent company, SAir Group, said however it would set up an independent commission to analyse the way in which Crossair services its aircraft.

In another tragic story this week, yet another snowboarder was killed in an accident. The victim this time was a world class snowboarder, Daniel Loetscher, who died while competing in the World Cup in Leysin. It was the latest in a series of accidents in which several snowboarders have died in the Swiss Alps this winter.

From staff and wire reports

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