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Company News

Swiss federal prosecutors indict former top businessman Ziegler

ZURICH, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Swiss federal prosecutors on Thursday filed an indictment against well-known Swiss businessman Hans Ziegler for insider trading, corporate espionage and accepting bribes.

The charges again Ziegler come after he was previously ordered by Swiss financial market supervisor FINMA to pay 1.4 million Swiss francs ($1.5 million) in 2017 for “repeated and systematic” insider trading.

The attorney general’s office (OAG) said Ziegler - known for decades in Swiss business as a board director at several companies and with expertise in helping restructuring efforts - along with multiple instances of insider trading had also exchanged insider information for a bribe on the sale of a subsidiary of a company where he worked.

Ziegler could not be reached for comment.

“Hans Ziegler, as a member of the board of a company, between the end of 2013 and November 2016 on several occasions disclosed trade secrets to the second accused,” the OAG said in a statement, adding he had received 150,000 francs after the sale.

It did not name the second accused, who it said was charged with industrial espionage and bribery, but in an indictment filed at Switzerland’s Federal Criminal Court said he had acted as an advisor to the buyer.

The names of the companies were not disclosed and the OAG declined to provide further comment in response to written queries. A timeline on the ruling to be issued by Switzerland’s top criminal court was not provided.

After the original FINMA investigation was revealed Ziegler had in November 2016 resigned from the boards of Swiss industrial groups OC Oerlikon and Schmolz+Bickenbach , as well as German robot maker Kuka.

$1 = 0.9100 Swiss francs Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi Editing by David Holmes

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