| 27 May 2024, Monday |

One year after vacancy, Swiss propose new attorney general

A parliamentary committee has suggested that the chief of Bern’s cantonal police become Switzerland’s next attorney general, one year after the position was left empty.

In a meeting on Wednesday, Parliament’s judicial panel unanimously voted to nominate Stefan Blaettler, the director of regional police in Switzerland’s capital since 2006, as the country’s next top federal prosecutor.

“After an external evaluation process and a two-stage hearing process, in which around a dozen applications were reviewed, the Commission unanimously concluded that Mr. Blaettler has all the qualities needed for this office today,” parliament’s judicial commission said in a statement late on Wednesday.

Switzerland’s former attorney general, Michael Lauber, resigned last summer, after a court decided he had covered up a meeting with FIFA boss Gianni Infantino and lied to supervisors while his office investigated corruption surrounding soccer’s governing body and as a parliamentary impeachment case was underway.

Since last August, the role has been vacant as the parliamentary body tasked with selecting a candidate sifted through multiple rounds of applications without agreeing on the suitability of any of the previous candidates.

Noting Blaettler spoke all three of Switzerland’s most widely spoken national languages as well as fluent English, the commission said Blaettler’s many years of experience in law enforcement and “comprehensive leadership skills” made him well-equipped for the job.

“He also brings with him the necessary personal skills to head the Office of the Attorney General,” the commission said.

Blaettler, who also teaches at the University of Bern’s Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology, must first be voted in by parliament before becoming attorney general.

Parliament is set to vote on his appointment on Sept. 29.

  • Reuters