Court orders detention of oldest Swiss prisoner

Court orders detention of oldest Swiss prisoner
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The oldest prisoner in Switzerland will remain in detention a Geneva court ruled in overturning a decision to interrupt his sentence for medical reasons.

The 89-year-old man, sentenced to ten years behind bars in 2010 for raping his adopted daughter, suffers from cancer and is currently being detained in the prison unit of Geneva’s university hospital (HUG).

The appeal court’s judges ruled that the man’s detention did not endanger the man’s health and that his treatment in hospital was neither degrading nor inhumane, given that he was benefiting from very good palliative care, the prisoner’s lawyer told the ATS news service on Thursday.

The lawyer, Yaël Hayat, confirmed an earlier report published by Le Temps newspaper on its website.

Hayat said she regretted the judges’ failure to consider the matter from the point of view of the age of the detainee.

Hayat said she is awaiting the results of a new medical report on the prisoner before deciding whether to appeal the case to Switzerland’s supreme court.

According to doctors who diagnosed that the man had cancer of the prostate at the beginning of the year, he had only ten to 18 months to live, ATS reported.

In March, a tribunal for the application of judicial sentences accepted a request to interrupt the man’s jail sentence when Hayat argued that “humanity should prevail over crime”.

The prosecutor’s office in Geneva remains firmly opposed to any such release given the “dangerous” nature of the prisoner.

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