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Former police chief sought in execution probe

A Swiss man who served as a chief of police in Guatemala is under investigation for allegedly carrying out illegal executions and other abuses of power.

This content was published on September 1, 2010 - 16:47

On Wednesday Switzerland’s branch of Amnesty International and Track Impunity Always called on Swiss justice authorities to cooperate with the investigation.

The man, who holds dual nationality and served as the head of Guatemala’s Civil National Police from 2004-2007, has returned to the Geneva area and denies the allegations. He says he is the victim of a “defamation campaign” and “political manoeuvres” because of his efforts to reign in drug dealers.

The general prosecutor in Guatemala, with the indirect support of the United Nations, has demanded the man be arrested along with 18 others who worked for the force and the country’s interior ministry. To date, nine of the 19 are in custody.

Investigators say the man should be held responsible for “numerous extrajudicial executions” carried out while he was chief of police.

“If his guilt is proven, [he] should not be able to escape justice because of his double nationality,” said Manon Schick, spokeswoman for Amnesty International.

Switzerland, like most countries, will not extradite its own citizens but could launch criminal proceedings on behalf of Guatemala.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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