The trial has opened in Switzerland against 19 former managers, board members and consultants of the collapsed airline Swissair. Ex-board member Gerhardt Fischer was the first to take the stand to answer questions about the demise of the company in 2001, leaving huge debts.
Fischer pleaded not guilty, blaming the effects of September the 11th for the company’s failure. He then exercised his right to remain silent for the remainder of the hearing.
All of the accused deny charges of defrauding creditors, falsifying documents, breach of trust and making false statements. Several of those on trial could face prison terms if found guilty. Business experts are closely following the case, saying the rulings will have big implications in the future when deciding what is poor management and what is criminal behaviour.