UK’s richest family on trial in Switzerland for human trafficking

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Although a financial settlement over exploitation was reached last week, the Hindujas remain on trial for trafficking, which is a serious criminal offence in Switzerland. They deny the charges.

This week in court, one of Geneva’s most famous prosecutors, Yves Bertossa, compared the almost $10,000 a year he claimed the family had spent on their dog, to the daily amount they were allegedly paying their servants.

The Hinduja family’s lawyers did not specifically deny the allegations of low wages, but said they must be viewed in context – noting that the staff were also receiving accommodation and food.

The charge of long hours was also disputed, with one defence lawyer arguing that watching a film with the Hinduja children could not really be classed as work.

Some former servants testified for the Hindujas, describing them as a friendly family who treated their servants with dignity.

But the allegations that servants’ passports were confiscated, and that they could not even leave the house without permission, are serious, because they could be judged as human trafficking.

Mr Bertossa is calling for prison terms, and millions of dollars in compensation as well as legal fees.


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