Switzerland: Geneva ‘Terror Suspects’ Win Compensation


Two Syrian men arrested in Geneva last year amid a hunt for terrorists are set to receive financial compensation for wrongful arrest. The case against them has been officially closed.

The two men were arrested by police in December 2015 accused of traces of explosives found in their car. In January 2015, the Attorney General dropped the investigation as the original suspicion was not confirmed. The men were freed at the end of January after spending 50 days in custody.

The case has now been officially closed, and according to the official document from the Attorney General’s Office, dated September 16, the two men will receive financial compensation for moral damages.

One man will receive CHF11,000 ($11,100) and the other CHF12,500, the Swiss News Agency reported, confirming an earlier report in the Tribune de Genève and Tages-Anzeiger newspapers. All of their legal costs will be reimbursed by the federal authorities.

On December 12, the two men, who had valid Syrian passports, were stopped by Geneva police and arrested after traces of explosives were found in their car. Criminal proceedings were opened against the two under a law prohibiting groups such as al-Qaeda and Islamic State. They denied having criminal intent and said they had only just arrived in Geneva and recently acquired the car.

The case was closed as ‘the original suspicion was not confirmed’, the attorney-general’s office said in a statement in January.

At the time of their arrest last year, one month after the Paris terror attacks, Geneva was on high alert after a suspicious Belgian-registered vehicle fled from a late-night police check and crossed the border into France, and foreign authorities sent a tip about a suspected Islamic State cell in the region.


swissinfo is an enterprise of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to inform Swiss living abroad about events in their homeland and to raise awareness of Switzerland in other countries. swissinfo achieves this through its nine-language internet news and information platform.

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