Thursday, June 14, 2007

Lafayette, We're Jes Hangin' Around...

Taiwan News reports that Swiss authorities returned a portion of the funds frozen in Swiss bank accounts from the notorious Lafayette kickback scandal (long review, shorter piece)

Swiss authorities Wednesday returned to Taiwan US$34 million in frozen bank deposits believed to be illicit kickbacks connected to the purchase of six Lafayette-class frigates from France in 1991, according to the Central News Agency.

Officials at the Swiss Department of Justice said the returned funds belonged to two different holders but declined to identify them, the CNA said.

Under Switzerland's Federal Act on International Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, frozen capital assets can be released to foreign authorities if the assets are evidently related to criminal activities.

The funds were handed over to Taiwanese authorities on the condition that the legal proceedings against the two concerned persons would comply with human rights principles, the agency added.

The last paragraph refers to the Swiss position that Taiwan refrain from applying capital punishment in the case. That was a condition of Swiss cooperation. $34 million? Just $366 million to go.

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