From Tue Nov 13 18:39:28 2001
From: Sadanand, Nanjundiah (Physics) <>
To: Jerold Duquette <>
Subject: Swiss links to apartheid
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 11:12:34 -0500

Swiss panel orders inquiry into apartheid-era links

Associated Press, [13 November 2001]

BERN: A Swiss parliamentary commission said Monday that it will reopen an investigation into links between the neutral country and apartheid-era South Africa following doubts about the reliability of evidence to its original report.

The original report in 1999 cleared the Swiss intelligence service of colluding with the former head of South Africa's chemical and biological warfare program, Woutter Basson.

But new doubts have arisen because of claims by Basson -currently on trial in South Africa on charges of murder, fraud and drug trafficking—that he enjoyed good contact with the Swiss and particularly its former intelligence chief, Peter Regli.

Evidence in the form of telephone records emerged earlier this month that Regli had arranged for Basson to visit Switzerland's chemical and biological weapons research laboratory—a fact he had always denied.

As a result, the Swiss defense ministry ordered its own investigation into whether there had been a secret agreement for Switzerland to help in the South African warfare program—although stressed it retained confidence in Regli, who is now retired.

Franz Wicki, head of the Swiss parliamentary commission, said there was new evidence that the 1999 report didn't reflect reality in certain aspects.

At the time it was dismissed by left-wing critics as whitewash.