• Switzerland edition
 
Bungling cited in Geneva prison therapist’s death
Police police arresting Fabrice Anthamatten last month. Photo: Marcin Bielecki/PAP/AFP

Bungling cited in Geneva prison therapist’s death

Published: 09 Oct 2013 21:57 GMT+02:00
Updated: 09 Oct 2013 21:57 GMT+02:00

The authority in charge of the serving of sentences in the canton should not have authorized the release of Fabrice Anthamatten, 39, from the prison “on the basis of the file in its possession,” Bernard Ziegler, a former Geneva justice minister who is heading the inquiry, said in an initial report.

Anthamatten is suspected of murdering Adeline Morel, 34, whose body was found in a wood near the municipality of Versoix on September 13th.

Morel accompanied Anthamatten on day release for a planned session of horse riding therapy, designed to prepare him for reintegration into society once his sentence is finished, before the pair went missing.

The inmate was later arrested in Poland near the German border after driving in a car used by the therapist.

He is currently the subject of an extradition request by Swiss justice authorities.

Morel’s death sparked a national debate in Switzerland over whether its prisons are too lax with violent criminals.

Ziegler told a press conference that numerous “mistakes” were made in the handling of Anthamatten, who was serving two sentences totalling 20 years for raping women at knife-point.

The prisoner was released from the Pâquerette sociotherapy centre in the Champ-Dollon prison complex solely on the analysis of a doctor who was treating him, when the opinion of an external expert should have been sought, the lawyer said.

An evaluation committee on the dangerousness of inmates should have met to decide on the man’s release, while the input of the head of the security department should have been sought under procedures that were ignored, the inquiry found.

The prisoner should have never been released alone in the company of a woman therapist, Ziegler indicated.

Prison management should also have never authorized the purchase by Anthamatten of a knife with a 20-centimetre blade (ostensibly to clean horse shoes during his equestrian therapy) that was allegedly used to kill Morel.

“The state failed in its mission of protection of its employees,” the head of the cantonal government Charles Beer told the press conference while adding official apologies of the canton to the victim’s family.

The government has promised a range of measures to tighten procedures dealing with the release of prisoners in the wake of the inquiry’s damning report.


The woman director in charge of the serving of prison sentences was removed from her post as of Wednesday while her role in the case is being examined, the canton said.

Ziegler’s inquiry is scheduled to file a further report on January 31st 2014. 

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
German starts solo Rhine swim in Switzerland
Money raised by the swim will go to university research into river pollutants. Photo: Jessica Gardner

German starts solo Rhine swim in Switzerland

A German chemistry professor started a gruelling four-week solo swim down the Rhine river on Monday for the benefit of science and the environment. Andreas Fath is the second swimmer to embark on the challenge in recent weeks after 46-year-old Swiss man Ernst Bromeis set off three weeks ago. READ  

Swiss researchers seek prehistoric Greek village
PlanetSolar sails through the Corinth Canal. Photo: Valerie Gache/AFP

Swiss researchers seek prehistoric Greek village

The world's largest solar boat, the catamaran PlanetSolar, will embark on a Greek mission to find one of the oldest sites inhabited by man in Europe, organizers in Switzerland said on Monday. READ  

Low-IQ ‘IT genius’ leads school computer theft
iMacs were among the computers stolen from nine schools. Photo: Jamie McCall

Low-IQ ‘IT genius’ leads school computer theft

A youth with an IQ of just 65 helped mastermind the theft of dozens of computers from schools in the canton of Vaud before reconfiguring them for sale at a Lausanne second-hand shop. READ  

Farms opt out of Swiss National Day brunch
Brunches are increasingly popular, despite the decline in farms taking part. Photo: SVB/Brunch.ch

Farms opt out of Swiss National Day brunch

The number of farms in Switzerland offering a traditional brunch as part of Swiss National Day celebrations has fallen by more than a third since the initiative began. READ  

Emmental takes the brunt in weekend storms
Storms uprooted trees and flooded villages in Emmental. Photo: Caroline Bishop

Emmental takes the brunt in weekend storms

The Emmental region is in the middle of a clear-up operation after further bad weather caused major damage over the weekend to the tune of four million francs ($4.4 million) READ  

Andujar aces Monaco to take Swiss Open title
Andujar holds his Gstaad trophy. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Andujar aces Monaco to take Swiss Open title

Spain's Pablo Andujar broke a title drought lasting for more than two years on Sunday as he defeated Argentine Juan Monaco 6-3, 7-5 to win the Swiss Open. READ  

Lausanne woman among Mali plane crash dead
The Air Algérie plane was en route to Algiers. Photo: Farouk Batiche/AFP

Lausanne woman among Mali plane crash dead

A communications officer from Lausanne is listed among the 118 people on board the Air Algérie plane which crashed in Mali on Thursday. READ  

Resting Wawrinka drops in on Swiss Open
Wawrinka recovered from illness shortly before Wimbledon. Photo: Andrew Yates/AFP

Resting Wawrinka drops in on Swiss Open

Stan Wawrinka confirmed on Friday that he is fit and ready for the final leg of the ATP season, starting with the Masters 1000 event in Canada. READ  

Swiss swimmer attempts river Rhine record
The Rhine flows through Basel. Photo: Michelle Kinsey Bruns

Swiss swimmer attempts river Rhine record

A man from Graübunden is attempting to swim the length of the river Rhine from its source to its mouth, a journey of 1,247 kilometres. READ  

Deal reached on Geneva airport construction
The agreement means Geneva airport's building work can go ahead. Photo: eguidetravel.com

Deal reached on Geneva airport construction

Environmentalists and residents groups have withdrawn their opposition to the renovation of Geneva airport’s east wing after an agreement was reached regarding the number of planes that may use it. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Tech
Hackers exploit 'holes' in Swiss online banking systems: IT experts
Sport
Video of Bern football player's spectacular own goal goes global
Tech
Switzerland stays on top of innovation rankings for fourth year
National
Roger Federer and Lindsey Vonn play tennis at Jungfraujoch (VIDEOS)
Business & Money
Competition commission launches probe into Swiss car leasing 'fiddle'
Health
Down's syndrome cases in Switzerland more than double
National
American family files hefty lawsuit over deadly Swiss balloon crash
Features
Graubünden's panoramic Bernina Express celebrates rail history
National
Study rates Zurich as world's fifth most expensive city for expats
National
Swiss-based human brain project directors hit back at research critics
Business & Money
Switzerland gets the edge on EU with China free trade agreement
National
Entries for new Swiss national anthem competition swell over 200
National
Zurich-based helicopter firm denies role in Schumacher medical leak
Culture
Montreux Jazz Festival debuts live internet streaming of concerts
Features
Tour of Bern’s historic fountains tells story of Switzerland's capital
National
Swiss media lament football team's 'cruel' and 'bitter' defeat
International
The Local expands its reach with the launch of new website in Denmark
Sport
Jubilant press hails hat-trick hero Shaqiri as 'Swiss Messi'
National
New website study reveals inequality in Swiss disposable income
Travel
Switzerland’s largest ski area 4-Vallées breaks up over lift dispute
National
VIDEO: Zurich Zoo launches contest to name newborn baby elephant
Business & Money
CEO-to-worker pay gap grows at biggest Swiss firms: union study
Culture
VIDEO: Swiss performance artist plans naked stroll at Art Basel
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,146
jobs available