Swiss sign deal with Kosovo over prisoners

Kosovan and Swiss prisoners are to be allowed to serve their sentences in their respective homelands, the cabinet has decided.

This content was published on September 30, 2011 - 13:55 and agencies

The government said on Friday that it had approved a bilateral treaty with Kosovo on the issue which is now open for signature.

In certain cases the accord allows for a transfer against the will of the person involved, but does not provide for automatic transfers, a Federal Justice Office statement explained.

Prisoners would only be sent to their homeland if they have committed a criminal offence that is punishable in both Switzerland and Kosovo, it added. Both countries have to agree and are not obliged to rubber stamp a decision.

The treaty should help Switzerland decrease the number of foreign prisoners in its jails, according to the statement. Serving a sentence in their homelands also makes it easier for prisoners to reintegrate into society afterwards, it said.

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