Schneeberger v Public Prosecutor of Lucerne

JurisdictionSuiza
CourtCourt of Cassation (Switzerland)
Switzerland, Cour de Cassation.
Schneeberger
and
Public Prosecutor of the Canton of Lucerne.

Jurisdiction — Over Nationals in Respect of Offences Committed Abroad — Crimes not Constituting Extraditable Offences.

The Facts.—The appellant, a Swiss national, had been given a suspended sentence of two months' imprisonment for fraud in June 1953, and placed on probation for three years. In February 1954, he was sentenced by a German court to ten days' imprisonment for crossing the frontier without a valid passport. In August 1954, the competent authorities of the Canton of Lucerne decided that the appellant must serve the sentence of two months' imprisonment imposed in June 1953, on the ground that he had been sentenced to imprisonment again during the period of probation. The appellant now sought to have this decision annulled. It was contended on his behalf, first, that in order to justify the termination of the suspension of the sentence, the offence committed in the period of probation had to be, in Swiss law, an indictable offence (“Verbrechen” or “Vergehen”) and not an offence of a minor nature “(Übertretung”), and that the offence committed in Germany was of a minor nature. It was contended, secondly, that under Article 6 of the Swiss Penal Code, Swiss nationals were subject to the jurisdiction of the Swiss courts in respect of offences committed abroad only if these offences were extraditable, and that this was not the case here.

Held: that the decision of August 1954 must be annulled. The suspension of a sentence was automatically brought to an end only by the commission of an offence...

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