Comment on the CS leak procedure: This could become a disaster for the image of Switzerland
The federal prosecutor’s office is once again investigating a whistleblower who publishes bank data – and not because of the serious abuses he is doing with it uncovered. We already know this movie. Switzerland always plays an inglorious role in it.
For example, when computer scientist Hervé Falciani stole data from HSBC Geneva. They proved that 99.3 percent of French bank customers had not paid tax on their money in Switzerland. That money launderers and blood diamond dealers have been in and out of Geneva. In the end, Falciani was sentenced.
The fact that the world even found out about the oligarchs at CS is said to be a crime.
The latest case is about a whistleblower who gave Credit Suisse data to journalists. But this time there is a lot at stake for Switzerland. And for two reasons:
Firstly, the whistleblower revealed that CS mentored well-known oligarchs like Alisher Usmanov. In the meantime, Switzerland can no longer afford to be close to these Russians. Many are sanctioned. In Germany it happened now investigations against Usmanov, among other things, on suspicion of money laundering. And what is Switzerland doing?
Unlike the Germans, they are now investigating the whistleblower who made the oligarchs’ accounts public. The fact that the world found out about Usmanow and Co. at all is said to be a crime. In doing so, Switzerland is protecting the banks and their problematic customers in the eyes of all. That alone is bad PR. But it could get worse.
It is secondly possible that Switzerland will even sue journalists who write about the data. This is because in 2015 Parliament tightened the banking law to such an extent that the media – including this newspaper – are no longer allowed to write about such data. The UN, on the other hand, has already intervened with Federal Councilor Ignazio Cassis.
Now imagine that journalists from international media get summonses in the course of the proceedings because they dared to report that the CS oligarchs were serving them. That would be the GAU for the image of Switzerland.
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– This could become a disaster for the image of Switzerland
The federal prosecutor’s office has opened proceedings because Credit Suisse data ends up with journalists. This could become a serious problem for Switzerland’s reputation for two reasons.