Gotthard Lerch

Also Known As: 

Lerch, Gotthard

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Exporting Country: 




A German businessman, reportedly identified by Libya and Iran as being involved in their acquisition of uranium enrichment technology as a middleman associated with Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan's nuclear proliferation network; formerly in charge of an industrial technology and metallurgy division at Leybold-Heraeus (now part of Unaxis AG), a producer of high-technology equipment allegedly involved in the supply of nuclear equipment to Pakistan and Iraq in the 1980s, where he was reportedly implicated by German authorities along with co-worker Otto Heilingbrunner in the illegal export to Switzerland of blueprints and construction plans for uranium enrichment plant components.

Alleged to have tried and failed to obtain supplies of pipes for Libya's Project Machine Shop 1001, allegedly planned by Peter Griffin, a British citizen and alleged longtime supplier to Khan, to be a workshop in Libya to make centrifuge components that could not be obtained from outside Libya;

Reportedly arrested in November 2004 in Switzerland on suspicion that he aided the development of a gas centrifuge to enrich uranium for Libya between 2001 and 2003, and reportedly received up to $4.25 million for his involvement with the centrifuge activities.

Reportedly admitted to supplying Pakistan valves, vacuum pumps, brazing furnaces, measuring instruments and a gas-purifying plant in the 1980s, much of which was reportedly shipped to Pakistan by way of Switzerland, France and Dubai.

Resides in Switzerland, reportedly in the village of Grabs.

Date Entered: 

September 8, 2004

Date Last Modified: 

June 18, 2005