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* Swiss prosecutors challenge court ruling that freed 13 alleged Tamil Tiger financiers
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 07:56 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 20, Colombo: Switzerland's Attorney General has filed a complaint in the Swiss Federal Court against a court ruling that freed 13 people accused of raising millions of dollars to buy weapons for the Tamil Tiger terrorist organization of Sri Lanka, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE), according to a report in Swissinfo.

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has filed a complaint against last year's verdict from the Federal Criminal Court, which ruled that 13 alleged financiers of the Sri Lankan Tamil separatist group could not be convicted of supporting a criminal group.

The Swiss Federal Court must now decide whether the Tamil Tigers are a criminal group.

On Saturday, a spokesman for the OAG has confirmed a report published by Swiss Media newspapers, but has not given any reason for the continued legal proceedings.

After an investigation lasting nine years, the OAG filed charges in 2016 against the suspects accused of financially supporting the World Tamil Coordinating Committee (WTCC), which is recognized as a front organization of the LTTE.

The accused from Switzerland, Germany and Sri Lanka were charged with funneling more than $15.3 million to the terrorist organization.

During the eight-week trial last year the federal prosecutor requested sentences of up to six-and-a-half years in prison.

However, in June 2018, the Federal Criminal Court decided that that the hierarchical link between the LTTE and WTCC was not sufficiently established and the 13 suspects were either given suspended custodial sentences or acquitted.

In its judgement, the court felt that there was not enough concrete proof to consider the LTTE as a criminal organization.

However, the court sentenced five of the accused to conditional prison sentences for commercial fraud and in two cases for forgery of documents.

 

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