Following the revelation of a case of Turkish espionage and planned kidnapping in Switzerland, the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Pascale Baeriswyl affirmed the gravity of the allegations, but called for the presumption of innocence.
This is the first time a senior government official has responded to the revelations by the Tages-Anzeiger and Der Bund papers on Wednesday of an ongoing federal investigation into a plan by Turkish diplomats to kidnap an anti-Erdogan Swiss-Turkish businessman in 2016.
Diplomatic immunity excluded
An investigation concerning political espionage and attempted kidnapping had been opened by Attorney General’s Office last year. The Swiss Foreign Affairs Ministry implicitly gave its approval to these investigations, taking into consideration that those involved could not claim diplomatic immunity.
"Given the extremely serious facts and allegations, we assume that these are not activities that are covered by the Vienna Conventions (which govern diplomatic relations between countries)," said Baeriswyl to Swiss Public Radio RTS.
However, the diplomat pointed out that the two Turkish nationals involved should benefit from the presumption of innocence. She also ruled out any diplomatic sanctions against Turkey.
"As soon as the Federal Council authorises the Attorney General to conduct its investigations, we no longer resort to diplomatic instruments or measures, because that would interfere in legal proceedings,” said Baeriswyl.