Swiss charge three in nuclear weapons case

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Swiss prosecutors said on Tuesday they had charged a father and his two sons for helping an unknown state build up an illegal nuclear weapons programme, after they admitted the crime.

Prosecutors launched a case against Marco and Urs Tinner in October 2004 and their father Friedrich the following year on suspicion of links with the network of Abdul Qadeer Khan, the "father of the Pakistani atom bomb", who supplied Libya with nuclear weapons technology.

"Based on the admissions made by the Tinner brothers and their father and at their request, the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) in November 2011 ruled that accelerated proceedings should be conducted," said the prosecutors office.

"In the indictment, the accused and the OAG request that the court return verdicts of guilty in relation to offences under the War Material Act and against one of the sons for forgery of documents."

Prosecutors said they would ask the Federal Criminal Court to accept a plea bargain covering sentences and costs in a shortened process.

"As a result of the admissions made by the suspects, no evidence will be heard in the main proceedings," the statement said.

© 2011 AFP

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