Swiss men with CIA links face nuclear secrets trial

A judge yesterday called for the prosecution of three Swiss engineers suspected of smuggling nuclear weapons technology following allegations that the US pressured Switzerland to destroy incriminating evidence to conceal their work for the CIA.

Swiss federal magistrate Andreas Mueller made his recommendations at the end of a six-year investigation into the activities of engineers Urs Tinner, his brother Marco and their father Friedrich, who were arrested in 2004 on suspicion of smuggling but later released. They said they had worked for the CIA since 2003 as informers.

The three are suspected of supplying technology to a nuclear smuggling ring in Pakistan run by Abdul Qadeer Khan, a nuclear scientist reputed to be the "father" of Pakistan's atomic bomb. Mr Khan, who now lives under government surveillance in Pakistan, is suspected of having aided Iran, Libya and North Korea with uranium enrichment programmes.

The Tinners are alleged to have played a bizarre dual role as nuclear weapons smugglers who at the same time worked for the CIA as informers and banked on the agency's protection. "There are many parts," Mr Mueller said yesterday. "It's like a puzzle and if you put the pieces together, you get the whole picture."

The Tinners claim to have helped supply the CIA with information about nuclear projects in Libya. They also admit to working for the Khan network and according to independent US reports they supplied the CIA with key information about its activities.

But they claim not to have known that Mr Khan's aim was to produce nuclear weapons and they deny having supplied him with the relevant technology.

Allegations that the US had pressured Switzerland to bury the case against the Tinners surfaced in 2008, after the Swiss government ordered 100 pages of evidence against them to be shredded. Copies of the documents have since reappeared.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A luxury beauty house with a nu...

Recruitment Genius: Housekeepers - Immediate Start

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This company are currently recruiting new exp...

Recruitment Genius: Head Concierge

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...

Recruitment Genius: Content, SEO and PPC Executive

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral