U.S. and Swiss Discuss Evidence To Extend Swiss Freeze

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Monday, April 1, 2002
Bruce Zagaris
On March 1, 2002, senior U.S. and Swiss officials met in Washington to explore means whereby the Swiss may be able to continue a freeze imposed on approximately $14 million in suspected terrorist funds immediately after the September 11, 2001 attacks. The U.S. says much of its information is classified and goes into sources and method. Unless countries that freeze money can ascertain evidence showing the funds should be frozen and unless property owners have an opportunity to participate in the process, the freezing will not meet the fundamental requirements of fairness. If the U.S. does not furnish the evidence, the Swiss (an other democratic countries) will remove the freeze, after which the money is likely to flee. In January 2002, the Swiss also blocked 69 other accounts that have about $ 25 million in accordance with the U.N. sanctions against the Taliban.