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Smear campaign in the media against Karl Brügger and B&T

15.05.2018

Version française ici

Dear customers, suppliers and industry friends,

In the last few days, there has been some misinformation about me personally and the company, B&T that has been distributed via various print media outlets here in Switzerland. This is what appears to be some kind of an agenda driven campaign carried out to smear not only me, but B&T and defense industry in general. This is nothing new.

It is easy to see why this campaign is being launched now as the Swiss Parliament will begin debate on adopting the EU firearms legislation in just a few days. The goal seems to clear and obvious, to denigrate the entire defense industry with my face as that of the enemy. To broaden these agenda-driven blitz attacks further, the media has even placed the local ice hockey club, SCL Tigers, of which, I am a member of the board of directors into this fray for no apparent reason. Please take the following points into consideration and give yourself a neutral and objective picture of this situation. The most important facts in this matter:

Fact 1:       I, Karl Brügger, decided more than a year ago to accept the penalty and to pay a fine of CHF 3,000 as ordered by the Federal Criminal Court as issued on 10.12.2014.

Fact 2:       During the last twenty-seven years that B&T have been an active producer in the defense industry, these are the only fines or penalties against me and/or B&T AG. The references to any other offenses or fines are completely false.

Fact 3:       B&T AG, now employs more than 80 persons. We develop and produce defense products for the domestic and foreign market. In this capacity we supply the Army, the police, and almost all of the other security authorities in Switzerland for the common defense. B&T only ships product outside Switzerland with an approved export license issued by the Swiss government. All product that is exported abroad is in accordance with all international and Swiss statutory provisions. On an average, we ship about 7-800 orders per year outside Switzerland, 96% of which go to our allies in the EU, EFTA countries or the USA.

Fact 4:       The clothing line brand 5.11 has been one of the main sponsors of the SCL Tigers for about ten years via B&T as the Swiss agent for 5.11.

Fact 5:       As a private person, I am a member of the Board of Directors and part of the management of this National League A-Class ice hockey club SCL Tigers.

Further information (in German) can be found here: http://www.bt-ag.ch/site/deu/news

As you can easily see from the documents, the coverage in the various media outlets has no credible material basis. The prejudicial media coverage is presumably a part of a smear campaign to influence the upcoming firearms discussions in the Swiss Parliament. Legal action against the participating media companies is in preparation.

If you have any further questions, I am at your disposal personally on 033 334 67 00.

Best regards

Karl Brügger
B & T AG


IMPORTANT UPDATE

Dear Ladies, Gentlemen and customers

As of yesterday afternoon, the newspaper "20 Minutes Online" had completely deleted the false report about B&T and me personally from their website. In addition, at the same time a full retraction was published in which the false information given was corrected accordingly. This retraction can be found here: http://www.20min.ch/.../Gegendarstellung--Tigers-Sponsor...

The English translation of the article is as follows:

Retraction «Tigers sponsor»

The allegations made in the 20-minute report against the principal sponsor of the SCL Tigers are incorrect.

In the 13 May 2018 edition of 20 Minuten.ch it was reported under the title "Tigers Sponsor Made Illegal Weapon Deals" K.B., the owner and one of the main sponsor of the Tigers, has been convicted several times for illegal arms trades, most recently a week ago.
Both allegations against Mr K.B are grossly incorrect,. there is only a penalty order of December 2014, in which he was charged a fine of 3000 francs.

Further, the article claims, K.B. a penalty has been imposed. This is incorrect, a fine has been imposed.

The article also claims that K.B. was sentenced in the year 2000 to a fine of CHF 10'000. This is incorrect. Both K.B. as well as all other retailers involved were found innocent, the proceedings were dropped, and nobody was found guilty. The allegations of a penalty are unfounded.

The article further claims, that almost 100 people were shot during the last days of the uprising in Ukraine with rifles produced in Switzerland by the company, owned by K.B..

These allegations are incorrect. K.B.'s company delivered only a few bolt action rifles to protect the European Football Championship in Ukraine. A license to a Ukrainian company for the production of rifles was granted in compliance with all regulations and with the approval of SECO.

There is no indication that nearly 100 people, or even one person, were shot with these rifles.



To summarize, I would like to say the following:
- There will be more unjustified charges made against the defense industry in the future. It pays to tackle it accordingly
- There will be more retractions from the various other media outlets that should be released by the end of the week
- I am very grateful for the hundreds of emails, text messages and phone calls supporters made to me personally over the past few days. I will unfortunately not be able to answer all, so I would like to thank you for the fantastic support. I gave me great comfort.

Best Regards from Thun

Karl Brügger
B&T AG

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