Marc Rich, Glencore founder pardoned by Clinton, dies

Mark Rich (1998 picture)
Image caption Marc Rich was one of the most successful commodity traders of all time

Marc Rich, the trader controversially pardoned by former President Bill Clinton, has died in Switzerland.

He was wanted by the US for tax evasion when he was pardoned on Mr Clinton's last day in office in 2001.

Mr Rich was one of the most successful traders of all time. He founded - and subsequently sold - the company renamed as Glencore in the 1990s.

He died of a stroke in the Swiss city of Lucerne at the age of 78, the March Rich Group said in a statement.

Mr Rich was born in Belgium in 1934, but his family, which was Jewish, left Europe for the US in 1941 to flee Nazism.

He founded his trading company in 1974 and became known as the "king of commodities".

But in the 1980s he was accused of tax evasion, fraud, as well as illegal trade with Iran and fled to Switzerland.

Mr Rich remained on the FBI's Most Wanted List for almost two decades, narrowly escaping capture in Finland, Germany, Britain and Jamaica,

The pardon, issued by Mr Clinton on 20 January 2001, was one of more than 200 granted on his final day in the White House.

It came after Mr Rich's ex-wife had donated money to Mr Clinton's presidential library.

Mr Clinton later said he regretted the pardon, but strongly denied that gifts had any effect on his decision.

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