Former Swiss prosecutor ‘targeted by Serbian assassins’

Marty accuses the Swiss authorities of failing to take adequate action against Serbia. Keystone / Lukas Lehmann

Ex-Swiss prosecutor Dick Marty has been under armed guard for nearly a year-and-a-half following death threats he believes originate from Serbia.

This content was published on April 12, 2022 - 12:30

In an interview with Swiss public broadcaster RTS on Sunday, Marty said he had armed protection officers in his house for four-and-a-half months from the end of 2020.

His house is now equipped with surveillance cameras and a safe room with plain clothes police keeping an eye out nearby. Marty must wear a bullet-proof vest when he goes out in public.

During his career, Marty was a politician and prosecutor in the southern Swiss canton of Ticino.

From 1999-2011 he was a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. In this capacity he conducted various inquiries such as allegations of secret CIA prisons in Europe and alleged organ trafficking in Kosovo.

The latter investigation was apparently the catalyst for the alleged assassination order from Serbia, which has never accepted the formation of an independent Kosovo.

“The threat apparently comes from certain circles of the Serbian intelligence services, who asked the underworld, professional killers, to liquidate me simply to put the blame on the Kosovars,” Marty told RTSExternal link.

Official reaction

Marty is also aggrieved that the Swiss authorities have not taken up the matter with Serbia. He says he had to write to the federal police office to force them into action.

“Anyone who engages in the search for the truth deserves not only protection, but also justice. They deserve to see that those who attempt to take their lives face prosecution. This cannot be tolerated,” he wrote in February.

On Monday, Serbian authorities denied Marty’s claims. “In these difficult times, such allegations cause inexorable damage to the reputation of the Republic of Serbia, its intelligence services, and those who carry out their duties in full conformity with the law,” read a statement signed by the Serbian ambassador to Bern.

Swiss federal police officers are now due to travel to Serbia at the end of this month in connection with the affair. But Marty is scathing about the apparent inaction of the attorney general’s office and the foreign ministry.

Both the foreign ministry and the Office of the Attorney General told RTS that they are in contact with each other and the federal police but declined to say what action they were taking beyond providing protection for Marty in Switzerland.

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