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Home News Incoming Swiss ambassador to US cleared of corruption

Incoming Swiss ambassador to US cleared of corruption

Published on 20/12/2018

Former intelligence coordinator Jacques Pitteloud, named last week as the incoming Swiss ambassador to Washington, was cleared by a federal court on Thursday of charges of abusing his power during a posting in Kenya.

Pitteloud’s case was originally dropped by the Office of the Attorney General in March 2016, but was then appealed by two Kenyans; today the Federal Criminal Court rejected their appeal.

The accusations stem from an incident in spring 2014, when Pitteloud was Swiss ambassador in Nairobi (he served from 2010-2015). Two businessmen brothers, Kenyan, claimed that Pitteloud intervened unduly in a corruption case in which they were involved. According to their claims, the ambassador offered to help them in return for a large payment.

In its decision published on Thursday, just six days after Pitteloud was named as the successor to Ambassador Martin Dahinden in Washington, the Federal Criminal Court judged that nothing illegal had taken place.

However, it said that the tone used by Pitteloud in his dealings during the affair was “extremely insistent and not devoid of double-entendre”.

Pitteloud, who worked as Switzerland’s Intelligence Coordinator between 2000 and 2006 before joining the foreign affairs ministry, will take up his post in Washington in 2019, as soon as US authorities grant his accreditation.