Yahoo! News News Home - Yahoo! - Help
 
AP
Home  Top Stories   Business   Tech  Politics  World  Local  Entertainment  Sports  Op/Ed  Science  Health  Full Coverage
Business - AP
   
Business | Reuters | AP | Dow Jones Business News | Forbes.com | BusinessWeek Online | USA TODAY | NewsFactor | SmartMoney.com | NPR | Yahoo! FinanceVision Video

 

Court Starts Swissair Criminal Probe
Tue Jun 18, 3:11 PM ET

ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) - A Zurich district court has launched a criminal investigation of three former members of the executive board of the collapsed Swissair Group, officials said Tuesday.

   

The district court did not release the names of the Swissair executives under investigation, but District Attorney Hanspeter Hirt said investigators are pursuing suspicions of falsified documents, unfaithful management and publication of incorrect business results.

Police in major Swiss cities Tuesday seized documents related to the company dated between 1998 and 2001, officials said. The airline's administrator was not immediately available to comment.

The airline, out of business since last March, filed for bankruptcy protection in October last year after the flag carrier was left without cash, succumbing to a debt of $7.9 million.

Money may be the husk of many things, but not the kernel. It buys you food, but not appetite; medicine, but not health; acquaintances, but not friends; servants, but not loyalty; days of joy, but not peace or happiness. -- Henrik Ibsen

More from > Business - AP
Next Story:   Japan Stocks Tumble 364 Points
Wed Jun 19, 4:36 AM ET - (AP)

 

Email this story - View most popular | Printer-friendly format

 

Archived Stories by Date:

 

 

News Resources
Message Boards: Post/Read Msgs
My Yahoo!: Add Business - AP to My Yahoo!


 

ADVERTISEMENT

 Weekly Specials
· Rent DVDs Online. No Late Fees ever. FREE TRIAL!
· FREE credit report & trial membership!
· Quick, detailed Life Insurance quotes.
· FREE Auto Insurance Quotes from StateFarm.com®
· FREE Health Insurance Quotes-eHealthInsurance.com
· Free personalized horoscopes!
· Access Your PC from Anywhere - Free Download
· Get The New York Times delivered right to your door


 

ADVERTISEMENT

from this link
 

News Search
Advanced
Search:   Stories    Photos    Audio/Video    Full Coverage

Copyright © 2002 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
 
Copyright © 2002 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
Questions or Comments
Yahoo! News News Home - Yahoo! - Help
 
AP
Click Here!
Home  Top Stories  Business  Tech   Politics   World  Local  Entertainment  Sports  Op/Ed  Science  Health  Full Coverage
AP World Politics
   
Politics | AP | Reuters | USA TODAY | NPR

Swiss court launches criminal probe against executives of defunct Swissair
Tue Jun 18, 1:30 PM ET

ZURICH, Switzerland - A Zurich district court has launched a criminal probe against three former members of the executive board of the collapsed Swissair Group, officials said Tuesday.

   

The district court did not release the names of the Swissair executives under investigation, but District Attorney Hanspeter Hirt said the investigation was based on suspicions of falsified documents, unfaithful management and publication of incorrect business results.

Police in major Swiss cities Tuesday seized documents related to the investigation into alleged breaches by senior Swissair managers between 1998 and 2001, officials said. Switzerland's national carrier went out of business last March.

The collapsed airline's administrator was not immediately available to comment.

The court said that the inquiry also involved allegations that Swissair managers may have failed to declare that the group needed to provide additional reserves for its loss-making German airline subsidiary LTU in 2000.

Swissair executives also are alleged to have failed to react to a forecast in the summer of 2000 by Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse, which said the company might post a net loss of around 500 million Swiss francs (then dlrs 299 million).

Investigators also claim that Swissair neither commented on the figure appropriately nor did it warn markets that the company might post a loss in 2000.

Swissair posted a net loss of around 5 billion francs (then dlrs 3 billion) for 2000 and filed for bankruptcy protection in October last year after the flag carrier was left without cash, succumbing to a debt of 13 billion francs (then dlrs 7.9 million).

Only after the last tree has been cut down, Only after the last river has been poisoned, Only after the last fish has been caught, Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.- Cree Indian Prophecy

 

More from > AP World Politics
Next Story:   Three Indonesian officials go on trial for church massacre in East Timor
Wed Jun 19, 4:58 AM ET - (AP)

 

Email this story - View most popular | Printer-friendly format

 

Archived Stories by Date:

Politics Tools
Elected Officials Issues & Action Politics Extras
Enter Your ZIP Code:


or Search by State

Select An Issue Area:

Letters To Leaders - The pulse of the nation
Federal Agencies - Cabinet officials, departments and agencies

Links and services provided by Capitol Advantage.

 

News Resources
Message Boards: Post/Read Msgs


 

ADVERTISEMENT

 Weekly Specials
· Access Your PC from Anywhere - Free Download
· Quick, detailed Auto insurance quotes.
· FREE Auto Insurance Quotes from StateFarm.com®
· Free personalized horoscopes!
· FREE credit report & trial membership!
· Get $75 Back - Open a TD Waterhouse Account
· Rent DVDs Online. No Late Fees ever. FREE TRIAL!
· 50% off Subscription Rate to The New York Times
· FREE Health Insurance Quotes-eHealthInsurance.com


 

Who Is Deep Throat?

 

ADVERTISEMENT

 


 

News Search
Advanced
Search:   Stories    Photos    Audio/Video    Full Coverage

Copyright © 2002 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
 
Copyright © 2002 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
Questions or Comments
Privacy Policy -Terms of Service
Swissair Executives Face Criminal Investigation

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Story Filed: Wednesday, June 19, 2002 11:38 AM EST

GENEVA, Jun 19, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- A Zurich district court has launched a criminal probe against three former executive board members of the collapsed Swissair Group.

Local media reported that Swiss Judicial officials announced the investigation on Tuesday, but did not reveal the names of those under question.

However, according to the "Tages Anzeiger", Swissair's former chief finance officer, Georges Schorderet, and a former chief executive, Philippe Bruggisser, are two of the people under investigation.

Hanspeter Hirt, the district attorney, said the probe was based on suspicions of falsifying documents, unfaithful management and publication of incorrect business data.

The investigation follows news reports that police seized documents on Tuesday in Basel, Geneva, Waadt and Zurich as part of an inquiry into alleged breaches by senior Swissair managers between 1998 and 2001.

Swissair went out of business in March after filing for bankruptcy protection in October. The airline was grounded shortly after September 11 after running out of cash to purchase fuel and pay wages.

The icon Swiss company posted a net loss for the year 2000 of around 5 billion Swiss Francs (3.21 billion U.S. dollars). It ultimately collapsed under the weight of total debts worth 13 billion Swiss Francs (8.4 billion dollars).

According to the Zurich court, Swissair executives are alleged to have failed to react to a forecast in the summer of 2000 by Swiss bank Credit Suisse, which said the company might post a net loss of around 500 million Swiss Francs (321 million dollars).

Investigators claim that Swissair neither commented on the figure appropriately nor did it warn markets that the company might post a loss in 2000.

Hirt estimates his investigations into Swissair's collapse could take at least three years.
SWITZERLAND
'Whiff of Enron' emerging from Swissair
Posted Thu, 27 Jun 2002

Swiss newspapers reacted with dismay on Thursday to growing evidence that dubious accounting methods were used at the former national airline Swissair in the years up to its spectacular financial collapse in 2001.

As the WorldCom accounting scandal broke in the United States, Swissair administrator Karl Wuthrich revealed to creditors late on Wednesday that an investigation had disclosed that Swissair Group (SAirGroup) accounts had not shown the full extent of its financial dealings.

He highlighted "three problem areas" emerging in the investigation, which is due to be completed by auditing firm Ernst and Young in the autumn.

Problem areas

The three areas: the extent of Swissair's holdings in foreign airlines, the use of trustee shareholders to bypass European Union restrictions on non-EU ownership when Swissair acquired French regional airline Air Littoral in 1999, and a complex series of equity swaps between 1999 and 2001.

Wuthrich also noted "gaps" in Swissair documentation and said the company's former auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG, had so far "not felt able to grant the administrator access to their audit records."

With the issue likely to grow in importance as the probe continues, according to Wuthrich, Swiss newspapers underlined that key figures in the economic establishment were involved in running the former national airline.

Execs, board members under pressure

Noting a "whiff of Enron," the daily Le Temps on Thursday warned that former Swissair executives and board members would now be under intense pressure.

"One must have been blind or sly not to have noticed the gaping holes in the SAirGroup empire, well before March 2001," Le Temps commented.

"Trickery was allied with juggling to mask the state of the company. That the then auditors are today denying the administrator access to their archives says a great deal about their good conscience," it added.

Swiss prosecutors conducting a separate investigation last week ordered a search of the offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Zurich and the home of the chairman and chief excutive of Credit Suisse Group, Lukas Muhlemann, a former Swissair board member.

"Although he is not directly charged, the head of Credit Suisse Group Lukas Muehlemann is under the spotlight, along with other members of the board" the Basler Zeitung said.

"A bank, whether it's currently Credit Suisse Group or another, can hardly afford to have something to do with a chief that, probably consciously, was involved in cheating," the Basel newspaper added.

The Neue Zurcher Zeitung said there was evidence of "crooked" dealings at Swissair.

Bankruptcy protection

The airline, a one-time symbol of Swiss efficiency, sought bankruptcy protection in October 2001 following its spectacular financial collapse.

It officially disappeared at the end of March 2002, replaced by a new carrier known as Swiss that was set up around Swissair's regional operator Crossair with a controversial 2.7-billion Swiss franc aid package, including about one billion francs in public money.

Wuthrich, who outlined the intermediate findings of his investigation during a creditors' meeting in Zurich, is dealing with 38-billion Swiss francs (?26-billion) in demands from creditors.


AFP


http://business.iafrica.com/news/989865.htm


to Legal Matters Menu