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Swiss to crack down on business, sports bribery

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May 15, 2013 07:12 AM EST | AP


GENEVA — The Swiss government wants to broaden its anti-corruption laws to make bribery a criminal offense in almost all cases.

The move follows criticism from anti-graft advocates who claim Switzerland doesn't do enough to prevent bribery by businesses and international sports organizations based in the Alpine country.

The Cabinet on Wednesday proposed changing the law to include bribes paid during the selection of hosts for major sporting events like the FIFA World Cup or the Olympics.

Until now, Swiss authorities have investigated bribery only if it involved government officials or it "distorted market competition." The new offense would automatically trigger a criminal investigation.

The government proposal would also make illegal bribes paid to sports clubs rather than directly to officials.