A public prosecutor in Geneva has been charged with abuse of office over the alleged destruction of a piece of evidence relating to a case of human trafficking.
The evidence is a 20-minute telephone recording, the Swiss News Agency reported on Friday, that could potentially have cleared a Senegalese woman accused by her cousin of usury and human trafficking.
“This important element could absolve my client,” defence lawyer Thomas Barth said.
In the recording, given to the judges by a witness, the accuser allegedly admits that she had invented everything for the sole purpose of obtaining a residence permit, but the prosecutor in charge of the case – in 2017 – deleted, or had deleted, the audio after judging it inadmissible and unusable.
The news of the investigations initiated by the public prosecutor’s office against the prosecutor was first revealed by the Tribune de Genève newspaper.
The prosecution had initially decided not to investigate the case. However, the criminal proceedings board of appeal disagreed. It considered the destruction of the recording to be problematic, Barth told the news agency.
In order for the prosecutor to be charged, the Geneva cantonal parliament first had to waive her immunity. That would mark a first for Geneva, according to the same source.
Whether the accused public prosecutor can continue to exercise her profession must be decided by a judicial supervisory body.