Spy boss hit by `secret army' claim
Monday 23 August 1999
Adolf Ogi, the Defence Minister, said Peter Regli had been suspended at his own request as an investigation into financial fraud took on "unimaginable" dimensions.
Dino Bellasi, a former accountant in the defence ministry, was arrested last week, accused of stealing 8.6m Swiss francs (pounds 3.6m) from his employers, the largest swindle yet known in a Swiss government department.
But it was only after a newspaper report yesterday that the deputy federal prosecutor Felix Baenziger admitted that hundreds of weapons and ammunition had been seized from a site near the Swiss capital, Berne, in connection with the investigation.
None of the weapons had come from the Swiss army, Mr Baenziger said.
Mr Bellasi said that he had been acting under orders from Mr Regli, his superior, who in 1994 had ordered him to create a secret army, and had given him money to buy arms.
Mr Regli told reporters that the allegation was "absurd" and "a tissue of lies," especially since the Cold War was already over by 1994.
He said that he believed Mr Bellasi should undergo a psychiatric examination.
Mr Ogi said the investigation was looking into areas including organised crime and arms trafficking. He told reporters he still had confidence in Mr Regli, but he retained the right to suspend other members of the secret service if he felt the investigation required it.
Mr Bellasi is accused of obtaining the money over a five-year period in the form of advances to cover the costs of army exercises which never took place. The fraud came to light after Mr Bellasi continued to submit claims even after he left his job in November last year.
He was arrested as he apparently tried to leave the country last week and is being held in custody. His wife, who was arrested with him, has been released. (AP)
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 2 Expert urges cat lovers to own just one animal each
- 3 Sainsbury's '50p challenge' poster telling staff to encourage customers to spend more placed in shop window instead of staff room
- 4 Yes, the iPhone 6 is a miracle, but it's Apple's tax affairs that deserve a double take
- 5 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
Sainsbury's '50p challenge' poster telling staff to encourage customers to spend more placed in shop window instead of staff room
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >
Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE NQ to MID LEVEL - An e...
Highly Attractive Pakage: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - A highly attractive oppor...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...
£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...