Swiss Ambassador Nathalie Chuard’s statement that Dhaka didn’t ask for information about Bangladesh money deposited in Swiss banks put the country in an embarrassing situation, said the High Court on Sunday. A High Court bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat made the observation after back-to-back statements by the Bangladesh Bank and Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen that Bangladesh didn’t get any information from the Swiss authorities despite repeated requests. The HC bench then directed the State and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to submit their statements as affidavits and fixed August 21 for issuing a ruling on the matter. Also read: Info of Bangladesh money in Swiss banks: BFIU submits report to HC Senior Lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan stood for the ACC while Deputy Attorney General (DAG) AKM Amin Uddin Manik appeared for the State at the hearing. ACC lawyer Khurshid told the Court that his client had requested the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) to collect financial information on some people from the Swiss authorities in three separate cases since 2014. “On one instance, BFIU told the ACC that the Swiss authorities couldn’t provide any information about one person. In the two other cases, BFIU didn’t provide any data,” Khurshid told the court. He added that the information BFIU received from Swiss Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) are confidential and can only be used as intelligence. “This information can’t be used as evidence in court proceedings,” he said. Separately, the deputy attorney general told the court that Swiss ambassador’s comment has created confusion. Also read: Why govt didn't seek info of Bangladesh money in Swiss banks: HC “Swiss banks published their yearly reports on June 16. The Bangladesh government then requested the Swiss FIU to provide financial information on some people and banks through the Egmond Secure Web (ESW). The Swiss authorities are yet to comply,” DAG Amin said. The State also informed the court that since becoming a member of ESW in 2013, Bangladesh has sought financial information on a total of 67 people and institutions from the Swiss FIU. “Till now, the Swiss authority has provided information on only one person, which BFIU has forwarded to the ACC,” added Amin. The HC bench issued an order on the matter on Thursday in which it asked the State and the ACC to take part in the hearing. Obeying the court’s order, the State and the ACC took part in the hearing on Sunday.
Swiss Ambassador to Bangladesh Nathalie Chuard on Saturday said the “Swiss Corner” at the National Museum is a milestone of Switzerland’s growing ties with Bangladesh. She invited everyone to visit it with families and friends to learn more about her country as the redesigned “Switzerland Corner” at the World Civilization Gallery of the National Museum of Bangladesh was launched through a ceremony. State Minister for Cultural Affairs K M Khalid attended the ceremony as the chief guest and officially inaugurated the exhibition corner together with the Ambassador of Switzerland to Bangladesh Nathalie Chuard. READ: Ties with Bangladesh to grow: Nepalese FM Government officials, international partners, eminent cultural actors and the members of civil society and media of Bangladesh also attended the event, maintaining health protocols. The state minister highlighted the importance of further enhancing bilateral relations and expanding cooperation also in the areas of art and culture. The Switzerland Corner features over 100 Swiss artefacts and multimedia displays. This permanent exhibition, accessible to all museum visitors, provides a great opportunity to learn not only about the country’s longstanding and broad-ranging partnership with Bangladesh, but also about Switzerland’s values and unique characteristics: a dynamic and prosperous country, thriving on innovation and its rich cultural heritage, playing an active role in global affairs, committed to sustainable development. This corner is launched at a time when Switzerland and Bangladesh are gearing up steps towards celebrating the 50th anniversary of their bilateral relations next year. READ: Sudanese President wants broader ties with Bangladesh; seeks more investment Over the past five decades, the Swiss Embassy said, the relationship between the two countries has expanded manifold in the fields of humanitarian and development cooperation, economic and political relations as well as cultural exchanges.
Switzerland wants to strengthen and widen its ties with Bangladesh to explore "amazing potential" together as Bangladesh is set to celebrate its 50 years of independence next year with Vision 2041 in place, says its envoy in Dhaka.
Swiss companies continue to see potential in the Bangladeshi market despite various challenges related to ease of doing business as well as COVID-19, Switzerland said on Wednesday.
A clutch of diplomats stationed in Dhaka on Saturday highlighted the values set by Bangabandhu and the importance of following his ideology of social rights for all.
Newly appointed Ambassador of Switzerland to Bangladesh Nathalie Chuard on Wednesday said she would work to further strengthen and expand the bilateral ties.