report sounds the alarm
Swiss judiciary negligent in fighting corruption
Swiss law enforcement paints a bad picture when it comes to fighting corruption. The organization Transparency International sees a lack of criminal prosecution and the often necessary intervention of foreign judiciary in money laundering cases as proof of this.
Public prosecutors in Switzerland have so far failed to create the necessary legal certainty: In terms of corruption and money laundering, the organization Transparency International sees a need to catch up (symbol image).
Companies involved in corruption and money laundering are only very rarely convicted in Switzerland, according to a statement by Transparency International Switzerland on Friday in a report published on the same day. This is largely due to the negligence of the public prosecutor’s office.
To a large extent, these are dependent on the active assistance of the offending companies if they are to be held criminally responsible.
Company responsible since 2003
However, the public prosecutor’s offices have so far failed to create the necessary legal certainty. Transparency demands that they should issue binding and publicly accessible guidelines for their application practice. And they should take measures to ensure quick and reliable access to their penal orders.
Switzerland has known about the company’s criminal liability since October 1, 2003, as Transparency recalls. According to this, companies in Switzerland are liable to prosecution if they have not taken all necessary and reasonable organizational precautions to prevent certain criminal offenses such as bribery and money laundering committed in the course of business activities.
In addition, companies are liable to prosecution if a crime or misdemeanor is committed in the course of business activities and the act cannot be attributed to a specific natural person due to the company’s poor organization.
The non-governmental organization criticizes that although the two provisions have been in force for almost 20 years, only a few companies have been legally convicted so far. This situation is unsatisfactory from the point of view of preventing and combating corruption and money laundering as well as from a social and constitutional point of view.
Transparency International Switzerland refers to four final convictions of companies through a penal order from the federal prosecutor’s office, a penal order from the investigative authorities in Freiburg and two penal orders from the public prosecutor’s office in the canton of Zug. Eight legally binding convictions of companies were issued in a penal order from the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The extent is estimated to be significantly greater
Transparency International estimates the actual extent of corruption and money laundering in Switzerland to be much greater.
The organization warns that the major international corruption and money laundering scandals in which Swiss companies are often involved and in which the companies involved are usually held accountable abroad rather than in Switzerland, are indications of this. (SDA)