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Legal action Acquittal of climate activists to be appealed

Group of people around defendant with document in hand

The non-guilty verdict of a group of climate activists in Lausanne will  also be assessed by an appeal court.  

(Keystone/Valentin Flauraud)

A landmark Swiss district court decision that acquitted a group of climate activists is set to be reviewed following an appeal announced on Tuesday. 

The canton Vaud prosecutor’s office said the ruling of a Lausanne court earlier in the week was “a surprising response to a fundamental legal principle” and merited the opinion of a higher court. 

The prosecutor general argues that the district judge went far beyond current legal limits in making the initial ruling, the details of which we reported on below.  

+ Climate activists behind Credit Suisse tennis stunt acquitted 

Experts say the case involving the group of climate activists is likely to continue and will be brought before the Swiss supreme court for a final verdict at a later stage. 

The Swiss news agency Keystone-SDA says that more trials of activists are set to open in the next few months, notably a trial involving 120 members of the Extinction Rebellion group, who were fined by authorities for staging climate protests. 

Meanwhile, activists on Tuesday dumped coal inside a Lausanne subsidiary of the leading UBS bank to protest against its funding of fossil fuel projects. 

A witness said it was a symbolic action, while UBS did not comment on the protest. However, the bank says it does not finance new coal-fired power plants and is restricting lending to coal mining.

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