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Local News Summary of February, 7th

  • New evidence in Martin Wagner murder reveals private motives
  • UBS elected best bank by competitors
  • Greek parliament to address Novartis bribe scandal

New evidence in Martin Wagner murder reveals private motives

Basel media lawyer Martin Wagner on 28 January was murdered because of a personal motive, according to investigators. The alleged murderer, who was a neighbour, shot Mr Wagner three times with his old army pistol before killing himself, the public prosecution announced on Tuesday.
Baselland’s public prosecution team also said that, following article 319.1.d of the criminal procedure code, the case will be closed after the final investigations. The alleged murderer – forensic tests in the case are still ongoing – cannot be prosecuted for his crimes because he committed suicide shortly afterwards.
The murder, last Sunday morning, shocked the region. The authorities had received a report about several shots being fired during a dispute between two neighbours in the village of Rünenberg, Baselland. According to new evidence, the murderer fired several shots through the glass door to Mr Wagner’s house, before gaining access to the villa.

Military pistol

The man then shot Mr Wagner three times to the body and head, killing him. The neighbour apparently then left the villa and shot himself outside. He died instantly. Mr Wagner was still alive when paramedics arrived at his house, but he died at the scene despite attempts to resuscitate him.
The police say the perpetrator, a neighbour identified only as Martin G. had known his 57-year-old victim for a long time. Investigations did not reveal whether any arguments or violence had taken place prior to the fatal shots being fired. According to criminal analysis, all seven shots that were fired came from the former military pistol of the suspect. He had bought the gun after his departure from the Swiss military.
When asked about the motive for the murder, the public prosecution simply stated that “all motives were of a private manner”. The investigators did not provide any further information out of respect and to protect the privacy of the surviving relatives. Mr Wagner leaves behind three adolescent children – his wife died following an illness just a few months ago. The murderer is survived by his wife and children.

Murder at the edge of the village

The murder took place in a modern villa in a single family house area at the edge of a quiet village south of Gelterkinden. Mr Wagner was well-connected in the canton; he was a law consultant with the Trade Association and with the Baselland chamber of commerce.
Mr Wagner was also well-known in Switzerland for his work as a publisher for the “Basler Zeitung” newspaper for ten months in 2010, under the main investor Tito Tettamanti. Until 2011, Mr Wagner had also been the management board president of the “Weltwoche Verlags AG”.
Mr Wagner had also worked alongside the new president of FC Basel, Bernhard Burgener, for many years. Mr Burgener had been president of the management board of“Highlight Event and Entertainment AG”, of which Mr Wagner had been a member.

UBS elected best bank by competitors

UBS has achieved the premier position in more than 160 categories across 9 regions and more than 30 countries. Fellow competitors lauded UBS as the best bank in all client sectors, for international customers, and family offices among other categories. In addition, the bank was honoured as the leader in philanthropy, impact investing, and innovative technologies.
For the third year in a row, UBS has come first in the category “Best Private Banking Services Overall – Global” in Euromoney magazine’s annual Private-Banking poll.
UBS also managed to defend its leading position in all segment-specific categories on a global scale. Furthermore, it reached the top spot in the overall ranking for four regions, including West Europe and Asia. The bank regained first place in the category “Research and Asset Allocation Advice” as well as successfully remaining on top in “Philanthropic Advice”, “SRI/Social Impact Investing”, and “Innovative Technology – Client Experience”.
The annual “Private Banking Survey” by Euromoney magazine recognises extraordinary achievements in the asset management sector. An independent peer review committee determines the winners.

Greek parliament to address Novartis bribe scandal

The parliament of Greece will in the coming months address the corruption allegations against several of its politicians accused of having favoured the Basel-based pharmaceutical company Novartis in the medical sector.
“The justice office will hand over the files to us today,” Greek justice minister Stavros Kontonis announced on Greek television on Tuesday. According to his words, this is the “biggest scandal since the founding of the modern Greek state”.
“This is a case of defamation,” the former Greek government president Antonis Samaras said. According to claims in the media, his name is on the list of persons who are involved in the scandal.
Pharmaceutical group Novartis allegedly bribed him, as well as nine other Greek politicians, and thousands of doctors to increase the prices of its medicines and to conquer the market through the quick authorisation of its products.
As many people involved in the scandal are rumoured to be members of parliament and possess immunity, the justice of Greece had to hand over the case to the parliament after several months of investigations. Following proceedings, which will take months, the parliament will have to decide if and how the investigations may continue. Novartis Greece explained that it is cooperating with the justice of Greece.