Second Top Official Resigns in Drug Probe
BERN, Switzerland (AP) _ The government on Monday said Switzerland’s prosecutor general has resigned effective Sept. 1, the second top official to step down in a political scandal involving allegations of wrongdoing in drug investigations.
Prosecutor General Rudolf Gerber also was granted an immediate leave of absence as authorities investigated whether he slowed a drug inquiry that led to the resignation of former Justice Minister Elisabeth Kopp.
Justice Minister Arnold Koller announced the decision based on a preliminary report by a special investigator, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Arthur Haefliger.
The investigator was appointed shortly after Mrs. Kopp’s Jan. 11 resignation. Mrs. Kopp was accused of tipping her lawyer husband about a drug investigation involving the company of which he was vice president.
The scandal led to speculation that drug traffickers and certain companies were protected by government officials.
The report found Swiss efforts to fight illegal drug trafficking were 10 to 15 years behind those of its neighbors and cited shortcomings in the Justice Ministry. Gerber was accused of several mistakes, including an apparent slowness in the Kopp affair.
But Haefliger said there was insufficient evidence to suggest Gerber toned down internal reports on the involvement of Mrs. Kopp’s husband in the affair. Apparently responding to media allegations, Haefliger said nothing pointed to punishable or ″scandalous″ deeds in the Justice Ministry.
Gerber, 61, has denied any wrongdoing and asked for the investigation to clear his name, Koller said.