|For Immediate Release
September 29, 1997
INDEPENDENT COMMITTEE OF EMINENT PERSONS
| The Independent Committee of Eminent Persons ("ICEP") announced today that three of its members -- Paul A. Volcker, René Rhinow, and Israel Singer -- would become members of the Board of Trustees of the Independent Claims Resolution Foundation now being established to operate the Claims Settlement Process ("CSP") for resolving claims to published dormant accounts in Swiss banks dating from the period prior to the end of World War II. Paul Volcker, Chairman of ICEP, will serve as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. ICEP members Rhinow and Singer will serve as the other two members of the Board.
Mr. Volcker was formerly Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Mr. Rhinow is a Senator in the upper house of the Swiss Parliament, and Professor of Constitutional Law. Mr. Singer is Secretary General of the World Jewish Congress.
The CSP provides an essential missing piece to complete the program launched by the Swiss Bankers Association and the World Jewish Restitution Organization in the agreement that established ICEP.
The mandate of the ICEP is to identify accounts in Swiss Banks of which ownership properly lies with victims of the Holocaust or other refugees of Nazi persecution. The CSP will provide a vehicle for the impartial adjudication of claims to ownership of those assets of victims of Nazi persecution identified by Swiss banks and by the Committee's investigation. It will provide claimants with an expedited procedure that will be international in character, cost-free, and objective. Procedures to govern this process are now in preparation and will be published in the next few weeks. In addition, the Trustees will commission a panel of experts to report to them on the proper adjustment of claims awards to take into account interest and other similar issues.
The Board of Trustees will appoint up to 15 foreign and Swiss arbitrators with experience in international adjudication to hear these claims under relaxed standards of proof that recognize the difficulty of presenting evidence in the tragic circumstances of the Holocaust and of World War II. The arbitrators will preside over a fast track procedure involving a single arbitrator for uncomplicated cases, and in panels of three arbitrators for more complicated or contested cases.
Over 1,700 names of account holders have already been published, and many more names of account holders of foreign and domestic Swiss origin will be published in October, with others published as ICEP identifies any additional accounts. More than 2,000 claims have already been filed.
|The Independent Committee of Eminent Persons
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