The trial in France: UBS requests acquittal in all matters


Hearings in the court of UBS and the French branch in Paris came to an end. The bank's lawyers and the defendant are convinced that the prosecutor's office has no evidence.

Nina Belz, Paris

The hearing at UBS in France is coming to an end. (Photo: Francois Mori / AP)

The hearing at UBS in France is coming to an end. (Photo: Francois Mori / AP)

On Thursday, the last session of the UBS trial in France ended. In this sixth week of the trial against the big bank was the word defense. Both representatives of six defendants and representatives of UBS AG and its subsidiary UBS France applied for acquittal. They based their pleas mainly on various weaknesses of the prosecution of the French prosecutor.

Units can not mark the system

The defense criticized the lack of evidence and gave arguments why the witnesses interviewed were not credible, perhaps because they themselves were perpetrators. Witnesses appointed by the prosecutors who wanted to see employees of Swiss banks who were seeking French wealth in France were bank employees. In the eyes of defense, they acted only for slanderous purposes. Lawyers of six defendants – four former employees of UBS France, two of UBS AG – also all demanded an acquittal. They also stated that it could not be proved that their clients had committed a single illegal act within the meaning of the indictment. They also claimed in part about the prescription recipe, but also about the prosecutor collecting the system; but these people could not be held responsible.

UBS is accused of laundering money from tax revenue and illegal recruitment of customers on French soil with "mass and industrial character". It is said that her French daughter helped. A fine of EUR 3.7 billion was required last week. She is convinced that in 2004-2011 UBS AG systematically recruited wealthy Frenchmen, giving them a chance to bypass the French tax authorities. The fact that there was French black money in Switzerland is undisputed. In 2013-2015, nearly 4,000 French clients of UBS took advantage of the possibility of declaring their invoices at the French Ministry of Treasury.

Judgment in February

However, during the six-year investigation period, the prosecution did not find one client who claimed he was recruited by Swiss bankers. One of UBS's lawyers complained about the prosecutor's moral intentions. It is known that the French hated the bankers. And he even accused the accusations of xenophobic motives; she wanted to condemn the Swiss because they are Swiss. The judgment is expected on February 20, 2019.


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