France drops probe against Bin Laden brother

8th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 8, 2007 (AFP) - French judges have dismissed a money-laundering investigation targeting Osama bin Laden's half-brother, Yeslam Bin Laden, for lack of evidence after five years, a judicial source said Monday.

PARIS, Jan 8, 2007 (AFP) - French judges have dismissed a money-laundering investigation targeting Osama bin Laden's half-brother, Yeslam Bin Laden, for lack of evidence after five years, a judicial source said Monday.

Judge Renaud Van Ruymbeke opened an inquiry in December 2001 after the

French authorities were alerted of suspect transactions involving companies linked to Bin Laden's Saudi Investment Company.

In particular, he was investigating a transfer of 300 million dollars (230 million euros) from Switzerland to Pakistan, which could have benefited the Al-Qaeda chief who is blamed for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

The investigation was prompted by findings of a private investigation funded by lawyers acting for relatives of people who died in the 2001 attacks.

The transaction was allegedly made from a branch of Deutsche Bank in Geneva but the bank said no trace of the alleged transaction was found.

On December 27 Ruymbeke was forced to dismiss the case for lack of evidence after the Swiss authorities refused to supply him with bank documents relating to the case, the source said.

Bin Laden, a Saudi-born businessman with Swiss nationality, insists on the different spelling of his family name and claims to have had no contact with his half-brother Bin Laden since 1981.

He said they shared a common bank account in connection with the inheritance from his father, a rich Saudi businessman, which was split between 54 brothers and sisters.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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