Investigator at centre of Credit Suisse spying case committed suicide - lawyer

ZURICH (Reuters) - A private investigator who organised the surveillance of a senior former Credit Suisse manager committed suicide last week, a lawyer for the security firm at the centre of the spying case said on Tuesday.

The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen at its headquarters at the Paradeplatz square in Zurich, Switzerland October 1, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Credit Suisse Chairman Urs Rohner expressed regret on Tuesday over the man’s death, as the bank cleared Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam of the botched surveillance of its former wealth management head Iqbal Khan.

Khan, who helped Credit Suisse boss Tidjane Thiam reshape Credit Suisse into a wealth management heavyweight, filed a criminal complaint alleging threats and coercion after a confrontation with people tailing his car in Zurich on Sept. 17.

“It is with great sadness and concern that we have learned of the tragic death of an external security expert, who worked for Credit Suisse. We express our deepest condolences to his kin,” Rohner said.

Zurich prosecutors, who have not named the deceased, have opened a criminal investigation into the Sept. 17 incident and were not currently treating the death as suspicious.

“As is customary in the case of deaths, prosecutors and the police investigate the circumstances of the death and whether there is any criminally relevant misconduct by third parties. According to current information, there are no signs of a third party leading to the death of the deceased,” prosecutors said in a statement.

The investigator worked as a middleman between Switzerland’s second-biggest bank and Investigo, a security firm he hired to tail Khan.

Attorney Thomas Fingerhuth, who represents Investigo, told Reuters the investigator committed suicide last Tuesday.

Rohner, speaking at a news conference at which he announced the results of an internal probe into the surveillance, said the bank would not comment further on the death out of respect for those close to the man.

The surveillance as well as reports of a falling out between Khan and Thiam made headlines in Switzerland last week, shaking up the normally staid world of Swiss banking.

Credit Suisse’s internal probe, carried out by the Homburger law firm, found that Chief Operating Officer Pierre-Olivier Bouee, Thiam’s right-hand man, alone initiated observation of Khan. He resigned following the investigation.

Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Jon Boyle