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Top Geneva politician guilty of accepting perks

Published on February 22, 2021

A prominent Geneva politician, Pierre Maudet, has been found guilty of accepting undue financial advantage linked to visit to Abu Dhabi.

A court in Geneva on Monday ordered him pay a fine of CHF120,000 ($133,000) and to refund the costs of the trip, estimated at CHF50,000.

The sentence was suspended over two years.

However, the police court acquitted him of accepting the financing of an opinion poll by his friends in 2017.

Maudet denied the charges and pleaded innocent. The prosecution called for a suspended 14-month prison term for the former shooting star of Swiss politics.

Maudet’s political career

It is not clear how the verdict, which is subject to an appeal, will impact the political career of the 42-year old politician.

Last October, he announced his resignation from the Geneva government amid increasing pressure from his fellow government members and his political party.

Maudet gradually lost all his portfolios and was excluded from the centre-right Radical Party.

However, he is again running for a seat in the cantonal government in next month’s bye-election as an independent candidate.

The former mayor of the city of Geneva was elected to the Geneva cantonal government in 2012. He was also a candidate for a seat in the Swiss government in 2017.

In November 2015, Maudet and his family, a former chief of staff and a friend active in real estate in Geneva made luxury trip to Abu Dhabi. He initially claimed it was a private visit paid by his friend. Later he admitted having “hidden part of the truth” as the royal family of the emirate funded it.