Even if certain crimes are merely attempted, foreigners may be expelled from the country as a result, the Swiss Federal court has ruled.
The judges at Switzerland’s highest court, in a decision published on Tuesday, confirmed an earlier ruling by the cantonal court of Aargau which had ordered the deportation of a Georgian national for attempted burglary.
In October 2016, the man had attempted to break into a detached house with the help of two accomplices. They were disturbed by the returning homeowners and fled the property. Shortly afterwards, the trio were stopped and arrested by the local police.
According to Swiss law, theft in conjunction with trespassing is a criminal offence for which a compulsory expulsion is imposed.
Interpretation of the deportation law
The defendant subsequently filed a complaint with the Federal Court against the ruling, arguing that he had only attempted to commit the offences.
The man wrote that Article 66a of the Swiss Penal Code only makes reference to completed criminal offences. The Federal Court rejected this, arguing that the Federal Council (executive body) had explicitly stated in an addendum to the law that the expulsion must be imposed irrespective of whether the relevant offence had merely been attempted.
The controversial foreign criminal deportation law was implemented into the Swiss Criminal Code in October 2016. The changes make it possible to expel foreign criminals from Switzerland for five to 15 years for certain crimes.