Switzerland’s Biggest Ever Corruption Trial Ends
ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) _ A disgraced local government official at the heart of Switzerland’s biggest corruption scandal was sentenced to five years in prison Wednesday.
A Zurich court found Raphael Huber guilty of accepting $1.2 million in bribes and ordered him to repay the money, plus a fine of $174,000.
It handed down suspended prison sentences to four prominent local businessmen.
The corruption scandal shocked Switzerland’s normally staid business community.
Although Swiss banks are often accused of accepting dirty money, cases of domestic corruption are rare.
Huber was accused of accepting and in some cases demanding money for restaurant licenses in the canton of Zurich. He allegedly used the money for an estate in northern Italy.
Since the scandal came to light four years ago, Huber has stayed in Italy to avoid Swiss justice. He was tried in absentia and there is little chance of him being extradited to serve his jail sentence.
The court gave Huber a three-month deadline to paying the money. If he fails, Switzerland will ask Italian authorities to seize Huber’s assets in Italy.