Former police chief to face murder retrial
The former head of Guatemala’s national police, who is a Swiss-Guatemalan citizen, is to face a retrial in Switzerland for his involvement in killing several prisoners in Guatemala.
Erwin Sperisen was sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in Geneva in 2014. An appeal against the verdict was thrown out last year but now the Swiss Federal Court has partially upheld Sperisen’s appeal and ordered a retrial.
Sperisen moved to Geneva in 2007 after he’d resigned from the police force in Guatemala. He was arrested by Swiss authorities in 2012 after a United Nations inquiry found that seven prisoners who’d been killed in the country in 2006 had not died as a result of clashes between prisoners and police, as originally thought, but instead the killings had been planned.
The decision by the Supreme Court to order a retrial follows criticism of how the case was handled by Geneva prosecutors. Due to his dual nationality, Sperisen faced the Swiss courts, even though it is rare for the Swiss justice system to try a defendant for crimes committed in another country.