ex-Geneva minister to face trial over Abu Dhabi visit

SWITZERLAND: Being invited by a Sheikh to watch the Abu Dhabi F1 race could land you in hot waters in Switzerland. Another fascinating case where the Gulf culture of hospitality and Western anticorruption laws may clash.

Pierre Maudet, the former Geneva Minister for business promotion, is to face trial for allegedly accepting unauthorized “financial perks” linked to a visit to AD-contrary to the Swiss Criminal Code.

Maudet has reportedly been under investigation since 2018 for accepting undue financial benefits, notably, a trip to attend the AD F1 in 2015- without being particularly a fan.
The hospitality package included business class tickets, a stay at the Emirates Palace ( clearly the Controversial Hotel of the Year after Juan Carlos of Spain elected domicile there as well) and access to the event for himself, his family, and his chief of staff amounting to tens of thousands of Swiss francs.
The costs were allegedly paid for by the AD Crown Prince, who had invited him.

Generous hospitality? Or undue advantage for a member of the cantonal government to be invited “for nothing” by a foreign head of state, who has, as it happens, important interests in the award of contracts (ie. Geneva Airport)?

-That’s for the Swiss justice and the Public to determine.

Compliance Tip: Use tests to assess if gifts, hospitality or expenses are appropriate: are they bona fide? are they made openly? are they legal under local laws? are they proportionate? do they create any undue influence or obligation? are they documented & reviewed?

Source: Swiss Info https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/embattled-ex-geneva-minister-to-face-trial-over-abu-dhabi-visit/46138940

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