Swiss parliament rejects call to return 1MDB-linked funds to Malaysia

Source: The Star Online

ZURICH: Switzerland’s parliament rejected on Thursday a bid to amend the law handling ill-gotten bank profits seized by authorities that had aimed to return more than US$100mil (RM390mil) linked to scandal-hit sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to the Malaysian people.

Champions of the campaign had acknowledged they faced an uphill struggle to get the idea through parliament, whose lower house shot the plan down at the request of the government.

Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis told lawmakers the measure was too broad and violated the separation of powers between the government and the courts. He said current law allowed repatriation of assets seized from toppled regimes.

He cited an accord signed with the World Bank in December under which Switzerland would return to Nigeria about US$321mil in assets seized from the family of former military ruler Sani Abacha.

Confiscated bank profits from dubious deals are a different story. Normally they flow into the general Swiss budget. Read more