Notwithstanding (read: Because of) certain free-airfare offers on the part of the Department of Justice!
A former Swiss banker and top UBS AG executive slated to go on trial for allegedly aiding U.S. tax evasion has asked that witnesses too spooked to step foot in America be able to testify on his behalf via videoconference….
In a court filing on Monday, Mr. Weil’s attorney Aaron R. Marcu said U.S. officials have declined to discuss defense witnesses who might be granted so-called safe passage letters, which could guarantee they won’t be detained upon entering the U.S. The fear reflects the general state of anxiety among many Swiss bankers when comes to traveling abroad, particularly to countries that have mounted legal crackdowns on the Swiss financial sector….
“Virtually all of the potential witnesses, even those with only a peripheral connection to the events in question, have informed us that they are afraid to travel to the United States to testify, and do not even want their names to be revealed to the Government, because they fear retaliation if they appear to support Mr. Weil,” Mr. Weil’s attorney said in court filings.
In lieu of having to show up in person, the attorney therefore asks that foreign defense witnesses be allowed to testify during Mr. Weil’s trial via live video transmission. Without that permission, the attorney argues, Mr. Weil will be “immeasurably prejudiced.”
Former UBS Executive Having Trouble Bringing Spooked Witnesses to U.S. [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]