Top Valais cop stays despite Turkish rock theft
Malcolm Curtis · 27 Mar 2013, 19:23
Published: 27 Mar 2013 19:23 GMT+01:00
- Police chief sentenced for Turkish 'rock' theft (19 Mar 13)
- Police chief nominated despite Turkish scandal (07 Sep 12)
- Turks claim Swiss police chief 'stole' artefact (05 Sep 12)
The cantonal government issued a statement on Wednesday stating that Christian Varone will resume his duties on April 1st, following a leave of absence begun in November.
A Turkish court last week handed Varone, 49, a suspended jail sentence of one year and 15 days, in addition to a fine equivalent to 260 francs ($272), for removing a marble fragment dating from Roman times.
The rock was found in Varone’s luggage as he was leaving Turkey following a holiday in July 2012.
He was arrested and spent several days in detention before being released and allowed to return to Switzerland.
In a brief statement, Valais’s five-person cabinet acknowledged Varone’s “determination” to continue as police chief and accepted his written arguments in defence of his position.
The ATS news agency reported that Varone’s suspended sentence does not affect his criminal record in Switzerland and would only be activated in Turkey if he reoffends during the next five years.
The lawyer and former colonel in the Swiss army took a leave of absence on November 23rd to run for election to the government as a member of of the Liberal-Radical party.
He withdrew from the race after the first round of voting earlier this month following a disappointing showing.
Varone earlier described the marble theft as an innocent mistake.