Two former Swissair chiefs have been cleared of all mismanagement charges leading to the flag-carrier’s spectacular collapse.
Buelach district court, near Zurich, acquitted (7th June) the two former Swissair chiefs and 17 other defendants of fraud, falsifying documents, breach of trust and making false statements.
Prosecutors had petitioned for substantial fines and prison sentences, ranging from 6 to 28 months, to be handed out to defendants Mario Corti and Philippe Bruggisser.
Judge Andreas Fischer is quoted in local media as saying: “There is no evidence that the defendants knowingly acted to damage the company.
"In part, there is a lack of evidence from the prosecuting attorney that the critical actions taken actually led to damage at the [Swissair holding group] SAirGroup.”
The long-running trial was heard in Buelach’s town hall, rather than the court house, to accommodate observers including former workers, the public and the media.
Swissair collapsed in October 2001 following an ambitious expansion strategy. Investigators opened a formal probe into the airline’s demise on 5 October 2001, just days after Swissair, overwhelmed by a financial crisis, ceased operating.