16 October, etc.venues Monument
30 October, JW Marriott Grosvenor House
1st November 2023, etc.venues County Hall
A three-judge court has acquitted 19 executives and consultants accused of fraud in the collapse of Switzerland”s former national carrier, Swissair, and ordered the government to pay them compensation totalling more ”1m.
The defendants denied charges that included damaging creditors, mismanagement, making false statements and forging documents. Some have blamed the big Swiss banks and the 11 September 2001 attacks for the airline”s downfall.
Swissair was grounded 2 October 2001 after months of financial problems.
Prosecutors sought prison for Mario Corti, the last chief executive of the SAirGroup, and a range of suspended sentences for 18 other airline executives, board members and consultants.
"There is no evidence that the defendants knowingly acted to damage the company," said the chief judge, Andreas Fischer.
He maintained that poor management rather than fraud was to blame for the airline”s collapse. Staff, perhaps the biggest individual losers, claimed that deception, plain dishonesty, plus unrestrained ambition were the primary causes of what was once one of Europe”s finest airlines.
The court clearly found it difficult to find the defendants guilty, many declining to testify, for fear of incriminating themselves in possible future civil cases.