Switzerland’s highest tribunal has released a man suspected of the murder of an Egyptian diplomat in Geneva in 1995, according to French-language newspaper Le Temps.
The Lausanne-based Federal Supreme Court decided on Monday that the charges against the 49-year-old man are insufficient to justify the continuation of the pre-trial detention ordered 18 months ago.
The suspicions were based on traces of DNA and statements by an ex-girlfriend who had allegedly received information in confidence from the defendant's brother.
But the court said investigative efforts had not yielded the tangible results that would justify keeping the suspect in custody.
Shot dead in 1995
On November 13, 1995, a permanent adviser of the Egyptian Mission to the United Nations was shot dead by several bullets in the basement of his building in Geneva. The police found a home-made silencer.
In 2007, new analysis methods revealed the DNA profiles of four people – three men and one woman. In 2018, investigators determined that one of these profiles matched the male suspect. The remaining DNA was not identified.
The 40-year-old was taken into custody and charged with murder or assassination. The Swiss attorney general later levelled the same charges against the suspect’s brother.