Syrian central bank fails bid to exit Swiss sanctions list

An employee checks a safe box in the vault of a Swiss bank in Basel, Switzerland. (Reuters)

Switzerland’s highest court rebuffed on Friday the Syrian central bank’s attempt to be removed from a Swiss sanctions list designed to put pressure on President Bashar al-Assad, keeping the bank’s assets frozen.

The Federal Tribunal said it had no grounds to hear an appeal by the central bank against a 2014 ruling by the Swiss Federal Administrative Court that kept the Syrian bank on the sanctions list. Switzerland adopted the list in 2011, in line with European Union action.

Blocked assets 

The move, meant to protest Assad’s treatment of civilians during his country’s civil war, blocked Syrian central bank assets in neutral Switzerland.

Around $118 million (115 million Swiss francs) worth of assets owned by Syrian organizations and individuals on the sanctions list are frozen in Switzerland, government data show. It does not reveal how much of these belong to the central bank.

The European Union and United States have imposed a range of measures targeted at the Syrian government and some of the many armed groups operating in the country.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:50 - GMT 06:50
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