Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
WEDNESDAY, 16 APR 2014
07:11 PM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
23 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Middle East
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Swiss nuclear smugglers avoid more jail time after assisting CIA
Associated Press
A+ A-

BERLIN: Three Swiss engineers accused of participating in a global nuclear smuggling ring are set to avoid further prison time, in part because they helped the CIA bust the network that was supplying Libya’s atomic weapons program.

Prosecution documents released Tuesday outline a plea bargain agreement under which Urs Tinner, 46, his brother Marco, 43, and their 74-year-old father, Friedrich, would accept the charges against them in return for prison terms that are shorter than the time they have already spent in investigative custody.

The documents also shed light on the U.S. intelligence agency’s successful operation to destroy the nuclear smuggling network of Abdul Qadeer Khan, the architect of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program.

Friedrich Tinner had longstanding contacts to Khan dating back to 1975, according to Swiss prosecutors. The two continued to do business – with Tinner supplying equipment and expertise for uranium enrichment to Khan – even after Pakistan detonated its first nuclear bomb in 1998.

Khan built up an international network selling equipment to nations with nuclear weapons ambitions, including Libya and Iran. Prosecutors said all three men were involved in the smuggling ring and supplied key equipment and blueprints for the production of gas centrifuges needed to enrich uranium to weapons grade levels.

Urs Tinner claimed in a 2009 interview with Swiss TV that he had tipped off the CIA about a delivery of centrifuge parts destined for Libya’s nuclear program. The shipment was seized at the Italian port of Taranto in October 2003, forcing Libya to admit and eventually renounce its efforts to acquire nuclear arms technology.

Swiss prosecutors said there was evidence the Tinners had cooperated with U.S. officials since at least June 18, 2003, and that the three engineers had manipulated the centrifuge parts intended for Libya to ensure they wouldn’t function properly.

The CIA has said in the past that “the disruption of the A.Q. Khan network was a genuine intelligence success, one in which the CIA played a key role.”

Federal prosecutors in Switzerland said the Tinners’ cooperation with U.S. authorities and the U.N. nuclear agency should count as a mitigating factor in their sentencing. They added that the Swiss government’s 2007 decision to destroy evidence in the case should also weigh in the men’s favor, as the shredding of key documents made many of the allegations hard to prove.

The Tinners will appear Monday before Switzerland’s Federal Criminal Tribunal in Bellinzona for sentencing.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 19, 2012, on page 9.
Home Middle East
 
     
 
Iran / Libya / Switzerland
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Tuesday April 15, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Silencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hate talk
Michael Young
Michael Young
The presidential chess game has begun
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
China moves to the scary side of its boom
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS