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Switzerland to Give Mexico $74 Million Linked to Salinas Clan

Switzerland says it will turn over $74 million to the Mexican government from bank accounts linked to the brother of former Mexican President Carlos Salinas.

In a statement Wednesday, the Swiss Justice Ministry said Swiss and Mexican authorities proved Raul Salinas had misappropriated the funds.

The statement said the remainder of the assets will be returned to the Salinas family since the investigation did not reveal any criminal origin. The handover concludes Swiss proceedings in the case.

Swiss authorities froze about $110 million worth of funds in 1995 when they launched a criminal investigation into Raul Salinas for alleged money laundering.

Raul Salinas said the money in his Swiss bank accounts was legitimately given to him by business associates as part of an investment fund.

In 1999, Raul Salinas was sentenced to 50 years in prison for the murder of his former brother-in-law, Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu. He was released in 2005, after his conviction was overturned.

Switzerland gave Mexican authorities the documents from its money-laundering investigation in 2002.

Switzerland has taken a harder stance against money laundering in recent years in an effort to fight its reputation as a safe haven for the illegal funds of corrupt heads of state. Reforms have made it harder to hide money in the country's banks.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.