Enter multiple symbols separated by commas

Judge Acquits Swissair Chiefs in Airline Collapse

A Swiss judge acquitted all 19 former executives of failed airline Swissair of criminal wrongdoing on Thursday, ending Switzerland's biggest-ever economic crime trial.

Chief Judge Andreas Fischer acquitted the group's last executive officer, Mario Corti, and his co-defendants of charges that included defrauding creditors, falsifying documents, breach of trust, and making false statements.

Fischer awarded around 3 million Swiss francs ($2.46 million) in compensation to be shared among the defendants.

Switzerland's flagship airline Swissair collapsed in 2001 with around 17 billion Swiss francs in debt, due in part to an aggressive international expansion and a brutal downturn in the travel industry.

"There is no evidence that the defendants knowingly acted to damage the company," said Fischer.

"In part, there is a lack of evidence from the prosecuting attorney that the critical actions taken actually led to damage at the SAirGroup," he said, referring to the holding company for the airline.

The wealthy nation -- home to some of the world's largest companies like Nestle, Roche and UBS -- has struggled ever since to come to terms with the "grounding" of Swissair, which was an icon of national reliability, quality and efficiency.

Prosecutors have the right to appeal against the acquittal to a higher court but serious charges will be difficult or impossible to pursue as the statute of limitations on many of the events expires in 2008.

Contact U.S. News


    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    Please choose a subscription

    Please enter a valid email address
    To learn more about how we use your information,
    please read our Privacy Policy.

Don't Miss

  • Ferrari 488 Spider

    Ferrari's new 488 Spider will have a V-8 turbo engine and a retractable hard-top roof that lowers in just 14 seconds.

  • FDA bans import of some Cilantro as annually recurring outbreaks (in 2012, 2013, and 2014) of cyclosporiasis in the United States which have been associated with fresh cilantro from the state of Puebla, Mexico.

    The FDA announced the partial ban after some cilantro was linked to 2013 and 2014 outbreaks of stomach illnesses in the US.

  • Thomas Lee

    This year's flat market is reminiscent of 1904, says Thomas Lee of Fundstrat Global Advisors in an interview with Amanda Drury.

U.S. Video

  • CNBC update: 2 teens missing

    The US coast guard and Navy are still searching the Atlantic Coast for two teens who have been missing since Friday, reports CNBC's Sue Herera.

  • A path to conquering cancer: NantKwest CEO

    Immunotherapy biotech company NantKwest shares opened at $37 in their trading debut, 48% above their IPO price. Patrick Soon-Shiong ,NantKwest CEO, discusses the company and success toward fighting cancer with "natural killers"

  • Record fine for Fiat Chrysler

    Do buyers care about the record fine and recalls at Chrysler?