Swiss accuse BBC of bias and aggression

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The Independent Online
The Swiss ambassador to London has accused the BBC of "bias and aggressiveness" in a stinging letter to John Birt, its director general.

Francis Nordmann said the Inside Story documentary, which examined Swiss actions during Wothe Second World War, could have made an objective and intelligent contribution on a sensitive subject.

But he said: "It chose to present an outrageous scenario, disseminating hatred and casting discredit on a whole country by exploiting a register of emotions, insinuations and calumnies ... which Goebbels would not have disowned."

Switzerland has come under international pressure over its financial dealings with the Nazis and its handling of Nazi-looted gold belonging to Jews, many of whom died in the Holocaust. But the letter from Mr Nordmann dissected the programme's allegations in detail to conclude it "demonstrated a level of bias and aggressiveness against my country which borders on intellectual dishonesty".

A BBC spokesman said the letter had been received and a reply would be sent in due course. "It raises a number of issues that are being considered."