Indictment filed against former civilian employee of the Schwyz Cantonal Police
Bern, 05.11.2020 - The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has filed an indictment in the Federal Criminal Court against a former civilian employee of the Schwyz Cantonal Police. The charges against the former employee include, among other things, multiple offences under the Weapons Act and multiple counts of breaching official secrecy.
The suspect is a 57-year-old Swiss man who worked as head of logistics at the Schwyz Cantonal Police. The OAG opened criminal proceedings against him in February 2018 in response to a request for mutual legal assistance from the German prosecution authorities. The Schwyz Cantonal Police filed a criminal complaint at the end of March 2018 against the suspect, alleging misconduct in public office in connection with ammunition and equipment orders.
Following detailed investigations in cooperation with fedpol, the OAG has now charged the suspect with multiple counts of misconduct in public office (Art. 314 Swiss Criminal Code (SCC)), multiple offences and attempted offence under the Weapons Act (Art. 33 WA), multiple forgery of documents (Art. 251 no 1 SCC) and multiple breaches of official secrecy (Art. 320 no 1 SCC).
Multiple counts of misconduct in public office
In relation to this offence, it is primarily alleged that the suspect, in his former capacity as head of logistics, repeatedly failed to uphold the public interests of the Schwyz Cantonal Police as required in connection with orders for ammunition, and thereby obtained an unlawful financial advantage for himself of around CHF 180,000. He did this by placing orders for ammunition for the aforementioned value on behalf of the Schwyz Cantonal Police, which paid for the orders, even though the suspect went on to use the ammunition for this own personal benefit.
Multiple offences and attempted offence under the Weapons Act
According to the indictment, between 2012 and 2013 the suspect on several occasions sold weapons unlawfully to various persons and also set up a darknet account through which he unlawfully offered weapons and ammunition for sale. He committed both offences with another person who for reasons of jurisdiction has since been prosecuted and convicted separately in Germany. In addition, he also unlawfully sold several weapons to this person. All these sales were made without the required licences and documentation, i.e. without the relevant authorisation. Furthermore, the suspect is charged with possessing several weapons and ammunition without authorisation, which he kept in his home.
The issue of whether these offences involved the sale of weapons and ammunition from the stocks held by the Schwyz Cantonal Police is not relevant to the offences with which the suspect is charged.
Multiple forgery of documents
The suspect is also charged with multiple forgery of documents. According to the indictment, these include, among other things, forging a document and using it in connection with an ammunition order placed with the Armed Forces Logistics Organisation (AFLO). He did this by completing a work order form and having it approved by his superior, and then changing the ordered item and the order volume before sending the revised order form to AFLO. Although the ammunition was paid by the Schwyz Cantonal Police, the suspect used it for his own private purposes.
Multiple counts of breaching official secrecy
The suspect is further alleged, while working as head of logistics for the Schwyz Cantonal Police, to have passed on confidential police information to the accomplice who has since been convicted in Germany (see above paragraph on the offences under the Weapons Act). This information related to criminal investigation against his German accomplice that was ongoing at that time in Germany.
Sequence of events
At the beginning of the investigation, the OAG had the suspect placed in pre-trial detention for around two and a half months; he was then released. In addition, the OAG carried out various house searches in the canton of Schwyz with support from fedpol and the Zurich Cantonal Police, in the course of which the OAG seized around 80 weapons and several tens of thousands of cartridges from the suspect’s home.
The OAG wishes to thank fedpol, the Zurich Cantonal Police and the German prosecution authorities for their valuable assistance with this case. All enquiries in relation to the person convicted in Germany should for reasons of jurisdiction be addressed to the prosecution authorities in Konstanz.
As is customary, the OAG will announce the penalties that it is proposing at the main hearing before the Federal Criminal Court. As the indictment has been filed, the Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona is now responsible for providing further information to the media. The presumption of innocence applies until a legally binding judgment has been issued.
Address for enquiries
Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland, Communications Service, Tel. +41 58 464 32 40, firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland