Swiss Supreme Court Confirms Conviction On Membership In A Ciminal Organisation


In a decision of March 7, 2017, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court confirmed the conviction by the first instance Swiss Federal Criminal Court against two Iraqi men for being member of a criminal organization. The convicted were in the view of Switzerland's highest court active members of the "Islamic State" (IS) which the court considered a terrorist organization. Conversely, the first instance Swiss Federal Criminal Court must reconsider and lower its March 18, 2016, decision in terms of the four-year and eight-month imprisonment sentences imposed.

"It was disputed as to whether subordinated criminal contributions are sufficient to make a person a member of a criminal organisation."

The Swiss Federal Supreme Court dismissed the complaints of the two convicted Iraqi men with regard to the conviction of "participation in a criminal organization" (Art. 260ter of the Swiss Criminal Code). The bone of contention was as to whether their subordinated criminal contributions were sufficient to make them a member of the criminal organisation, whilst the highest court in Switzerland considered it as established that the IS remains an obvious criminal organization.

According to the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, a participation in a criminal organization does not require that a criminal perpetrator belongs to the inner circle of a criminal group, i.e., even those who are part of the extended circle and who are willing to follow...

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