Prose­cu­tors probe ex-min­is­ter over cen­tral bank scan­dal

The Washington Times Daily - - Business -

GENEVA | Swiss prose­cu­tors have opened a crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion against a for­mer jus­tice min­is­ter over a scan­dal that led to the coun­try’s cen­tral bank chief quit­ting in Jan­uary.

Prose­cu­tors in the can­ton of Zurich say they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing Christoph Blocher on sus­pi­cion of breach­ing Swiss bank­ing se­crecy laws.

Mr. Blocher held the jus­tice port­fo­lio in Switzer­land’s seven-mem­ber Cab­i­net from 2004 to 2007 and re­mains a lead­ing fig­ure in the na­tion­al­ist Swiss Peo­ple’s Party.

Prose­cu­tors said in a state­ment Tues­day that they ex­tended their ex­ist­ing probe against three other per­sons sus­pected of pass­ing on con­fi­den­tial bank doc­u­ments that im­pli­cated Swiss Na­tional Bank Pres­i­dent Philipp Hilde­brand in in­sider trad­ing.

Mr. Hilde­brand and the bank main­tain his in­no­cence.

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