PCGG’s Swiss lawyer has brod in bank with Irene’s ‘account’?
- Sheila Crisostomo () - September 12, 2002 - 12:00am
A ranking executive of the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS), where Irene Marcos-Araneta and Greggy Araneta allegedly keep an estimated $13.2-billion account, is believed to be a brother of controversial Swiss lawyer Martin Kurer who works for the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), an official said.

PCGG Commissioner Ruben Carranza Jr. said they have been informed that a certain Peter Kurer works for UBS as "group general counsel" and that he is a brother of Martin.

Martin, who works for the Zurich law firm Walder, Wuss and Partners, has been a PCGG lawyer for 10 years now.

Carranza, however, could not say what the PCGG intends to do with Martin, who has been called in the past as an "apologist" for Swiss banks.

"We have already been informed about that and it appears (that they are brothers). I cannot comment further," he told The STAR.

The UBS official website states that Peter Kurer "was appointed group general counsel in 2001, when he joined the UBS."

The website further states that "between 1985 and 2001, he was a partner at Law Office Homburger in Zurich. Between 1980 and 1985, he was with Baker and McKenzie, first as associate, later as partner." Peter was born on June 28, 1949, according to the site.

Carranza said the PCGG could disengage the service of any lawyer for a "specific reason or loss of confidence."

Martin is reportedly a specialist in intellectual property, information technology and international transactions, and not in international legal assistance which his PCGG job requires.

Asked about this supposed mismatch, Carranza said, "Only Martin Kurer can answer that. We were not yet with the PCGG when he was hired."

Contrary to his mandate as PCGG lawyer, Martin allegedly opposed the commission’s mutual assistance request to freeze, in 1998, the alleged $13.2-billion account of Irene and Greggy Araneta in the UBS.

The Aranetas reportedly tried to transfer the alleged account from UBS to a newly opened one in a German bank on Feb. 14, 2001.

The credibility of Martin was put into question when last March, Zurich district attorney Dieter Jann lifted a freeze on the Swiss deposits of three alleged Marcos cronies in Union Bancaire Privee.

Jann made the move because a court-imposed prescription period had lapsed without the Philippine government actively pursuing forfeiture cases filed against the three — former Energy Minister Geronimo Velasco, with deposits amounting to $15,519,972; his nephew, Alfredo de Borja, with $921,532; and his secretary, Carmencita Clavecilla, with $555,544.

Martin allegedly failed to inform the PCGG of the prescription period, taking the agency by surprise when Jann’s decision was announced.

CARMENCITA CLAVECILLA CARRANZA COMMISSIONER RUBEN CARRANZA JR. DIETER JANN ENERGY MINISTER GERONIMO VELASCO GOOD GOVERNMENT IRENE AND GREGGY ARANETA MARTIN PCGG PETER KURER
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with