Restitution of stolen assets

Switzerland must not reward dictators

Issued by Transparency International Switzerland



NGOs* welcome the decision of the Swiss Federal Council to freeze in the funds of Haitian former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier for three more months. In a letter they request of the President of the Federal Council, Micheline Calmy-Rey, and of Federal Councillor Christoph Blocher to take the necessary steps for such funds to be kept frozen-in until the country of origin is able to initiate and lead regular procedure of international legal assistance. After exchanges with NGOs, Member of Parliament Remo Gysin considers identical measures in his formal inquiry to the Federal Council submitted today.

“In case of a failure to take these steps the international public could perceive Switzerland as a ‘safe heaven’ for stolen assets again“, the letter to the members of the Federal Council states. It refers to the recent repatriation of frozen-in funds to former Prime Minister of Madagascar, Tantely Andrianarivo who has been convicted for corruption as well as to the planned release of funds to the family of former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier.

Switzerland had caused worldwide public outrage with this announcement.

The NGOs point out that already in the case of Mobutu the Swiss Federal Department for Foreign Affairs had indicated the need to keep funds frozen-in, should the procedure of international legal assistance fail. They doubt the adequacy of the judgment of the Supreme Court, which had assessed a prolongation of the freezing-in as „excessive“. Contrary to the Supreme Court’s conclusions, they say that a government’s failure to deliver evidence necessary to establish the criminal origin of the funds means in no way that this government „apparently has lost interest“ in the procedure of legal assistance. Namely, as the Swiss Department for Foreign Affairs has stated, the reason for insufficient cooperation is that the perpetrators have weakened the judicial system of the concerned states.

It is against the interest of Switzerland to be internationally perceived as a country that even in the case of severe human rights abuses interprets property rights legalistically in favor of the perpetrators. Consequently, the signing organizations demand:

###

*Aktion Finanzplatz Schweiz, Alliance Sud, Bread for all, CADTM-Suisse, Caritas Schweiz, Berne Declaration, Fastenopfer, HEKS, Kindernothilfe Schweiz, Plate-Forme Haïti de Suisse, Transparency International Swiss Chapter, infoe Switzerland, Broederlijk Delen, Droit pour la Justice, Dutch Haïti Platform, Entraide et Fraternité, EURODAD, GREF France, Haïti Advocacy Platform Ireland-UK, Jubileo Sur, Jubilee USA, Plate-forme Dette & Développement, Plate Forme française Paradis Fiscaux et Judiciaires, Tiako-i-Madagasikara


For any press enquiries please contact

Max Mader
T: +41 61 693 17 00
T: +41 78 808 21 53
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Latest

Support Transparency International

Apply Now for Transparency International School on Integrity!

Apply today for the Transparency School 2018 and spend an insightful week with anti-corruption enthusiasts from all over the world!

Blog: Making Summits Meaningful: A How to Guide for Heads of Government

Heads of Government spend a lot of time in glitzy international summits. World leaders shouldn't fly around the world just for a photo op or to announce new commitments they have no intention of keeping. Here's is a how-to guide for Heads of Government to make summits meaningful.

While the G20 drags its feet, the corrupt continue to benefit from anonymous company ownership

The corrupt don’t like paper trails, they like secrecy. What better way to hide corrupt activity than with a secret company or trust as a front? You can anonymously open bank accounts, make transfers and launder dirty money. If the company is not registered in your name, it can't always be traced back to you.

Urging leaders to act against corruption in the Americas

The hot topic at this week's Summit of the Americas is how governments can combat corruption at the highest levels across North and South America.

The impact of land corruption on women: insights from Africa

As part of International Women’s Day, Transparency International is launching the Women, Land and Corruption resource book. This is a collection of unique articles and research findings that describe and analyse the prevalence of land corruption in Africa – and its disproportionate effect on women – presented together with innovative responses from organisations across the continent.

Passport dealers of Europe: navigating the Golden Visa market

Coast or mountains? Real estate or business investment? Want your money back in five years? If you're rich, there are an array of options for European ‘Golden Visas’ at your fingertips, each granting EU residence or citizenship rights.

How the G20 can make state-owned enterprises champions of integrity

For the first time in its presidency of the G20, Argentina is hosting country representatives from across the globe to address the best ways of curtailing corruption and promoting integrity in state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

Europe and Central Asia: More civil engagement needed (Part II)

As follow-up to the regional analysis of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, additional examples from Albania, Kosovo and Georgia highlight the need for more progress in anti-corruption efforts in these countries and across the region.

Lutte contre la corruption en Afrique: Du bon et du moins bon

La publication de la dernière édition de l’Indice de perception de la corruption (IPC) offre un bon point de repère pour situer les efforts de lutte contre la corruption que l’Union africaine (UA) poursuivra tout au long de 2018

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media

Would you like to know more?

Sign up to stay informed about corruption news and our work around the world