Swiss Approve Noga Funds Freeze

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Geneva prosecutors acted within the law when they froze funds belonging to the Russian Central Bank at the behest of a Swiss firm, the country's Supreme Court said Thursday.

The Swiss Federal Tribunal rejected an appeal by the Russian government against the provisional seizure in May of unspecified sums deposited in the Geneva branches of UBS, Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas.

The funds were frozen over a legal dispute with Geneva-based trading firm Noga dating back to the end of the Soviet era.

The decision by Switzerland's highest court follows the seizure of bank accounts belonging to Russian government-linked bodies in France last week. That led Moscow to issue a formal complaint to France and threaten retaliatory legal measures against Noga, which is seeking at least $60 million from Russia.