SWITZERLAND - Ignace Rey, the former head of the teacher's pension fund for the Swiss canton of Valais (RVKL), has been convicted of a string of offences and sentenced to four years' imprisonment.

Rey was suspended from his position at the fund in 2003 because of "irregularities" in the management. (See earlier IPE story: Switzerland's Valais suspends pension manager)

A court has now convicted Rey for embezzlement, fraud, disloyal business conduct, falsification of documents and money laundering. It is estimated that Rey embezzled CHF4m (€2.65m).

As well as his custodial sentence, he will also have to pay a fine which will be decided in a separate civil lawsuit.

The Valais teacher pension fund will be merged from next year with the other public sector fund of the canton. (see earlier IPE story: Merger to create new fund for Swiss canton Valais)