Swiss cops face charges over injured cat

An animal-loving Swiss prosecutor has astonished the police force by launching criminal proceedings against two officers who failed to look after an injured cat.

A file image of what a cat might look like.
Joel Dietle (File)

The police officers in question were called to a scene in Lenzburg where a car had hit a cat. Upon arrival they saw the injured creature hobbling off into the darkness, newspaper Tages Anzeiger reported.

The fact that there was also blood on the road, but yet they did nothing to take care of the cat, returning instead to their car and driving off, has left them vulnerable to prosecution for animal cruelty.

If found guilty, the policemen could face suspended jail sentences or fines of up to 20,000 francs ($20,480).

The public prosecutor, 45-year-old Christina Zumsteg, takes animal welfare issues very seriously. As soon as she was elected public prosecutor, she took action against a farmer in her home village for breaches of animal welfare against dogs, cats, sheep, goats, rabbits, guinea pigs and donkeys.

She has also passed a tough sentence on a woman suffering from depression who had starved chinchillas in her basement, and also came down hard on a farmer who had neglected a cow.

Max Hofmann, secretary general of the Swiss police officers’ association, believes the threat of criminal sanctions against the two police officers is over the top.

“This means that every driver or pedestrian who does not rush to help an injured animal could end up before the courts,” he told the newspaper.

Hofmann pointed to the “chronic understaffing” of the police forces, saying it just was not possible for the police to devote too much time to a missing kitty.

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Switzerland jails 84-year-old bank robber

Swiss authorities have sent an 84-year-old bank robber to prison. The man, who robbed the same bank twice, had hoped his age would see him avoid sentencing.

Switzerland jails 84-year-old bank robber

A court in the Swiss canton of Lucerne has jailed an 84-year-old man for two years and four months for two bank robberies stretching back across the past decade. 

The man, named in Swiss media as Willi P, has been given a partially suspended sentence and will only need to serve six months. 

The man robbed a bank in Meggen in 2012 and in 2017, stealing around CHF13,000 in total. 

He threatened the bank’s employees with a folding pocket knife placed inside a plastic bag to look like a gun. 

The man avoided jail in 2021 when the case was brought to court, with the judges saying he was too old. 

This time, the cantonal court disagreed. 

“According to the case law of the federal court, even a relatively old age does not in principle justify a particular sensitivity to punishment, which must be taken into account to reduce the sentence,” the court said. 

READ MORE: Why do foreigners ‘commit more violent crimes’ than the Swiss?

Willi P was remorseful, telling the media he was “heartbroken” by what he had done, telling the press his wife had no idea about the robberies. 

“I’m really sorry for everything and felt heartbroken. Afterwards I said to myself: Hey, you are stupid! Why do you still have to do something like this at this age?”

The man pleaded with the court not to sentence him, saying “I’ve been punished enough with my poor health. I am sorry.”

While the court noted that due to the man’s advanced age he may die in jail, this was not enough of an exceptional circumstance to prevent the sentence.