GENEVA,Thirteen alleged financiers of the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers were freed by the Switzerland Supreme Court.
It acquitted five of them completely and handed suspended sentences to the others for lower-level financial offences, the ATS news agency reported.
The 13 defendants -- 12 Tamils or Swiss citizens of Tamil origin plus one German - stood accused of participating in or supporting a criminal organisation, fraud, forgery, money laundering and extortion.
During their eight-week trial, which began in January and closed in March, public prosecutor Juliette Noto had called for jail sentences of up to six and a half years, ATS said.
She charged that the World Tamil Coordinating Committee (WTCC), which oversaw a fundraising and money distribution operation, had created a sophisticated system to raise money from the Tamil community in Switzerland aimed largely at funding armed struggle in Sri Lanka.
According to the prosecution, families who refused to pay were threatened.
But today, the court ruled that WTCC was not a criminal organisation and that the prosecution had failed to sufficiently prove a hierarchical link between it and the Tamil Tigers
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK