Swiss charge 3 over alleged industrial espionage case

The Zurich prosecutor's office says three people have been charged for allegedly violating Swiss laws protecting trade secrets and banking secrecy in a case of suspected industrial espionage.

One of the defendants, who weren't identified, was also charged with extortion. The prosecutor's office declined to comment further Wednesday in an email.

Swiss and German media have reported that the case centers on three Germans, a Stuttgart lawyer and two former employees of a Swiss bank who allegedly passed on internal bank records to German officials.

The details came to light in a joint reporting project involving German daily Die Zeit, the nonprofit investigative journalism group Correctiv, Frontal 21 magazine and Swiss online magazine Republik.

Die Zeit reported the three could face up to three years in prison if convicted.