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Criminal case Terror suspect to remain in Swiss custody

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The courthouse, located in Bellinzona in southern Switzerland

(© Ti-press)

The Swiss Federal Criminal Courtexternal link has decided to extend the pre-trial detention of a man accused of supporting a criminal group, attempted murder and violating the law banning Islamic State.

The man, a citizen of canton Vaud in western Switzerland, was arrested in June 2017. In a decision published on Monday, the court stated that prolonging his pre-trial detention for an additional two months was proportionate. The defendant is facing a prison sentence of several years, so there is no danger of excessive imprisonment, noted the court.

The criminal investigation against the man was triggered by various objects found in his living quarters in Lausanne. In addition to a handbook to urban guerrilla warfare, police confiscated a forbidden knife, a plastic bottle containing petrol, and a Koran.

In February, the Attorney General of Switzerlandexternal link extended its investigation to include an incident that had occurred in September 2018. The defendant had attacked a prison employee and shouted “Allah Akbar”. A few days prior, the prisoner had tried to kick the same employee in the head, threatening to kill him.

In its decision, the Federal Criminal Court also refers to the prisoner’s psychiatric report, which states that the man suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and is addicted to alcohol and cannabis. The disease requires medication and psychiatric care, but the man has rejected both.

His illness, paired with the aggressive and unpredictable behaviour, contributed to the court’s decision to extend the detention period. There was a danger that the man would commit further acts of violence, it said.


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