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Foster care No legal immunity for parliamentarian

Schwander is a lawyer and critic of the foster care system 


A rightwing politician suspected of involvement in a kidnapping case can be investigated by the justice authorities after parliament refused to grant him immunity from prosecution.

Pirmin Schwander, a lawyer and member of the House of Representatives for the Swiss People’s Party, allegedly granted financial help to a mother and her 18-month-old daughter to escape the foster care authorities last year.

The woman fled Switzerland and was arrested in neighbouring France several months later.

A parliamentary committee on Monday confirmed that Schwander could not benefit from immunity, as there is no direct link between his political mandate and his alleged crime.

Prosecutors are currently examining whether he has to stand trial for aiding and abetting kidnapping.

It is rare for parliament to deny immunity for prosecution to one of its members. There have been at least five cases where the politicians could count on legal protection over the past few years.

In 2012, Christoph Blocher, the strongman of the People’s Party, was denied immunity from prosecution in a case of suspected breach of banking secrecy. However, the proceedings were abandoned last December.

Urs Geiser, and agencies


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