A former private security guard from the southern Swiss canton of Ticino has been sentenced to six months in prison for violating a federal law against terrorist organisations.
The punishment comprises a six-month period of mandatory jail time plus a two-year suspended prison sentence. The verdict was announced Friday by Switzerland’s Federal Criminal Court in the canton’s capital city of Bellinzona, following a simplified procedure agreed on by both the defence and prosecution.
Given the amount of time the suspect has already spent in pre-trial detention, it’s expected that he will be released on Monday. He will not be expelled from Switzerland, as he is of Swiss nationality, but he will have to cover the legal costs of the case, which are estimated at CHF151,000 ($156,233).
"I acknowledge my mistakes, and it is with some emotion that I reconsider my prejudices with respect to Swiss justice. I was treated with respect and propriety,” said the 33-year-old suspect, a Swiss man with Turkish-Kurdish roots, during the proceedings.
He was first arrested in Lugano in February as part of an anti-terrorist action by Swiss Federal Police. From January 2014 to February 2017, he worked to motivate nine men and one woman, recruited in Lugano and northern Italy, to support his radical Islamic agenda. The suspect also spread propaganda and proselytised – both in person and via social media – and helped two “foreign fighters” to join the ranks of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.
swissinfo.ch and agencies/cl