SHARE
COPY LINK
PARIS TERROR ATTACK

TERRORISM

Bern issues condolences over Paris terrorist attack

The Swiss government on Wednesday afternoon issued a statement of “deepest condolences” to the families of victims of the attack on the editorial board of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris that left 12 people dead and many more injured.

Bern issues condolences over Paris terrorist attack
Image from video of two gunmen involved in Paris terror attack. Photo: Public domaine

In a statement initially available only in German, the federal government said it was “appalled and shocked” by what was described by French President François Hollande as a "terrorist attack".

On Wednesday morning, gunmen armed with machine guns shot cartoonists and other editorial staff at the offices of the satirical magazine, as well as two policemen, before fleeing.

Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga said the assassinations were an attack on freedom of speech, a basic human right.

The attack shows that even in Western democracies “these fundamental rights and freedoms” are not self-evident and “must be defended at all cost”.

Sommaruga has sent a letter of condolences to French President François, while Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Burkhalter sent a similar letter to his French counterpart Laurent Fabius.

See also: 12 killed in terror attack on French magazine

                Charlie Hebdo: a history of controversy

CRIME

Case dropped against second Swiss man over Vienna attack ‘links’

Swiss prosecutors said Thursday they had dropped the case against a second Swiss man over alleged links to a deadly shooting rampage in Vienna due to a lack of evidence.

Armed police officers stand guard before the arrival of Austrian Chancellor Kurz and President of the European Council to pay respects to the victims of the recent terrorist attack in Vienna, Austria on November 9,2020. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
Armed police officers stand guard before the arrival of Austrian Chancellor Kurz and President of the European Council to pay respects to the victims of the recent terrorist attack in Vienna, Austria on November 9,2020. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG), which last month decided to drop the case against one suspect, told AFP it had issued a discontinuation order in the case against a second man.

On November 2, 2020, convicted Islamic State sympathiser Kujtim Fejzulai killed four people in Vienna before being shot dead by police.

It was the first major attack in Austria in decades and the first blamed on a jihadist.

Two Swiss citizens who knew Fejzulai were arrested in the northeastern Swiss town of Winterthur just a day after the attack on suspicion they may have helped in its preparation.

‘How was it possible?’ Austrians left asking painful questions after Vienna terror shootings

The two, who were aged 18 and 24 at the time, were known to the police and were the targets of prior criminal cases over terror-linked offences.

The OAG acknowledged Thursday that no evidence had emerged that either man had participated in any way or had prior knowledge of the attack.

The older of the two men was meanwhile hit with a penalty in a separate case with no links to the Vienna file, the OAG said.

The penalty order, seen by Swiss media, indicated that he had been found guilty of violating Switzerland’s law banning Al-Qaeda, Islamic State and related organisations and of being in possession of “depictions of violence”.

According to the ATS news agency, an IS group video was found on his phone depicting people being executed and decapitated.

He was handed a six-month suspended prison sentence, a fine of 1,000 Swiss francs ($1,100, 950 euros), and three years’ probation, ATS said.

ANALYSIS: Vienna terror attack was ‘only a matter of time’

In light of this penalty, he would not be compensated for the 176 days he spent behind bars after his arrest following the Vienna attack, it added.

The OAG said a separate case was still pending against the younger of the two men, also on suspicion he breached the Swiss law banning Al-Qaeda, IS and related organisations, and over “allegations of depictions of violence”. “The presumption of innocence applies,” it stressed.

SHOW COMMENTS