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Tamils protest outside Swiss court against case on LTTE supporters
Published Date: 09/01/2018 (Tuesday)

Over 150 Tamils protested outside a Swiss court on Monday against a trial involving thirteen LTTE financiers.

The protesters held posters of the LTTE and its slain leader Vellupillai Prabakaran and made statements in support of a separate Tamil state in Sri Lanka.

Thirteen financiers accused of funnelling more than CH15 million ($15.3 million) to the LTTE stood trial before the Swiss Federal Criminal Court on Monday.

The accused are from Switzerland, Germany and Sri Lanka. Some are former members of the World Tamil Coordinating Committee (WTCC), which represented the LTTE in Switzerland until 2009, and include its founder, his deputy and the person in charge of finances, Swiss Info reported.

Between 1999 and 2009, they allegedly created a complex fundraising structure which involved coaxing members of the Tamil diaspora to obtain loans from banks. To raise higher amounts, the WTCC was accused of creating fictitious companies in the name of borrowers that issued fake salary certificates.

The 13 on trial face charges of fraud, false documentation, money laundering and extortion. As the LTTE was never declared a terror organisation in Switzerland, they will not face charges of funding a terror group, unlike cases involving Islamic State or al-Qaeda.

Source: Colombo Gazette


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