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Former terrorism suspects sue Swiss police

Former federal prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, ordered the arrests. Keystone / Alessandro della Valle

Two alleged accomplices of the international terrorist, Carlos, are seeking damages from the Swiss government for wrongful arrest and detention.

This content was published on August 3, 2000 - 13:24

The two Swiss men are claiming a total of SFr240,000 ($142,000) in damages and loss of earnings, Swiss radio reported on Thursday.

They were arrested along with two women in 1994 in Geneva and Locarno on suspicion of helping the Venezuelan terrorist, Carlos, in a number of murders and attempted murders.

They were held for several weeks on the orders of the former federal prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, who is now head of the international tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague.

Their cases were formally closed in June after six years for lack of evidence.

One of their lawyers told Swiss radio that his client was seeking SFr200,000 compensation from the federal prosecutor's office. The accused lost his job as a delegate of the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross shortly after his arrest, the lawyer said.

Swiss radio quoted the lawyer for the other man as saying a claim for SFr40,000 had been filed a few days ago at the federal prosecutor's office.

The case will go to Switzerland's highest tribunal, the federal court in Lausanne.

Between 1993 and 1995, Del Ponte launched cases against a total of seven people, allegedly linked to Carlos, the name assumed by Illich Ramirez Sanchez.

Carlos was arrested in 1994 in Sudan and taken to France. He was held responsible for a number of murders and terrorist attacks, particularly in western Europe, during the 1970s and 1980s.

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