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Donald Rumsfeld 'gets Swiss social benefits'

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Donald Rumsfeld 'gets Swiss social benefits'
Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America/AFP
11:04 CEST+02:00
Donald Rumsfeld, the controversial former US secretary of defence, is receiving around 5,000 francs ($5,680) a year in benefits from the Swiss social security system (AHV), according to a news report.

Rumsfeld, condemned for authorizing torture in the Iraq as head of the military under former president George W. Bush, receives 400 francs a month from the AHV, the Tages Anzeiger newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The 81-year-old and his wife have probably been receiving the pension since the summer of 1997, the Zurich-based daily said.

He was entitled to this pension benefit from his position on the board of directors of Swiss engineering and technology company ABB, Tages Anzeiger said.

It said that Rumsfeld was essentially hired by the company as a lobbyist in Washington.

He served the company from 1990 to 2001, obtaining a Swiss social security number in the process, before joining Bush’s cabinet, where he stayed until 2006.

If the Tages Anzeiger report is correct,Rumsfeld received the Swiss social benefits while serving as secretary of defence.

The newspaper uncovered the AHV information after analyzing information from one of Rumsefled’s tax returns, which was published on the Open Secrets website.

The benefits were openly declared by Rumsfeld, who earlier this month published a letter that he sent to the US Internal Revenue Service in which he complained about the complexity of the tax code and called for its simplification.

Tages Anzeiger noted that Runsfeld has little need of the social security benefits.

According to his declaration of taxes in 2006, his fortune was estimated between $60 million and $195 million, the newspaper said.
 

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