Tuesday, September 07, 2004

POLITICS: Swiss companies raided in nuclear weapons probe linked to Libya

BERNE - Police have raided three Swiss-based companies in connection with a probe into a German national suspected of having helped Libya develop nuclear weapons, a media report said on Sunday.

Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag said the raids had been carried out at the request of the German authorities and were linked to the activities of the man, Gotthard L., a resident of the northeastern city of St. Gallen active in the nuclear industry.

The Swiss prosecutor's office would only confirm that a police operation concerning "a person resident in Switzerland" had been carried out, and refused to reveal the identity of the person or the type of company targeted by the raids.

Last February the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) handed the Swiss authorities a list of 15 people suspected of having taken part in secret Libyan and Iranian nuclear programmes.

Switzerland admitted then that the name of a German national aged 61 and living in St. Gallen ws on that list and his home had already been searched.

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