In the 1990s, American intelligence services intercepted telephone conversations of Swiss diplomats concerning the case of the “sleeping accounts” of Holocaust victims in Swiss banks. This was reported by the radio station SRF with reference to a declassified memo.
In 1995, Holocaust victims and their descendants filed a lawsuit in New York against Swiss banks. They said that they still cannot access their accounts from the Second World War. During the proceedings, Switzerland experienced unprecedented pressure from the United States to side with the plaintiffs. After three years of tense negotiations, Swiss banks and the World Jewish Congress have agreed to pay $ 1.25 billion in compensation to account holders and their heirs.
A recently declassified memo, leaked to the radio station, reveals new details of the story. The document, dated 1998, was addressed to the late Swiss Foreign Minister Flavio Cotti, the Ambassador to Washington, Alfred Defago, and Thomas Delfago, who at that time headed a special working group that dealt with the capital moved to Switzerland during the Second World War. The note stated that all negotiations between Cottie and Defago regarding the high-profile case were intercepted by American special services.
In an interview with the radio station, Borer confirmed that he knew about the contents of the note. According to him, the Swiss special services and he himself have repeatedly warned the diplomats in charge of this case about a possible wiretapping. Nevertheless, there were those who, despite all the warnings, continued to discuss the progress of the negotiations by telephone. Borer did not rule out that the special services also tapped the bank management.