New details about diamond nation’s leader emerge

A new report from a Swiss-based advocacy group has detailed how a top diamond official was paid millions of dollars in bribes to allow him to give a diamond to a close associate and even allow him, at one point, to lie about it to a foreign official.

The Swiss government’s Anti-Corruption Commission has said the payments were made from the accounts of four men: two former presidents, three members of parliament and a retired Swiss judge, and the diamond official worked for a company that did business with the government, the Swiss newspaper Le Matin reported on Wednesday.

It is the first public report about the diamond-giving network that has emerged from the country’s anti-corruption probe, which has focused on the president of the Swiss Confederation, the head of the countrys central bank and former President Sebastian Kurz, who was accused of taking bribes from a construction company that supplied diamonds to the president.

The report said the four officials are the chief executive officer of the company that had a close relationship with the president, the chief economic adviser to the former president, and two members of the parliament.

It did not provide any names.

“The information we have revealed has raised concerns that the diamond industry, especially in the diamond trade, was used for personal gain,” the commission’s director, Bernhard Kretschmer, said in a statement.

The commission’s investigators found that the four people had paid between 6.6 million Swiss francs ($7.7 million) and 9.5 million Swiss Francs ($11.5) for diamond-selling services between 2013 and 2015.

Kretschman said the diamond executives had been paid by a Swiss mining company called Gemfibre in exchange for arranging for a diamond from the Swiss company to be delivered to the Swiss government.

Krust, who is currently in the United States and is accused of receiving kickbacks, has denied wrongdoing.

He has said he only sold a small amount of diamonds and never accepted bribes.