GENEVA, July 31, 2012 (AFP) -
GENEVA, July 31, 2012 (AFP) –
Former Algerian defence minister Khaled Nezzar could be prosecuted for war crimes dating from the civil war in the 1990s after a Swiss court rejected his diplomatic immunity, a court spokesman said Tuesday.
“Immunity has not been recognised,” said Swiss Federal Court spokesman Mascha Gregori, confirming a previous report by the Swiss NGO Trial.
The decision has cleared the way for Nezzar to be tried in Switzerland under special legislation that allows people suspected of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide to be brought to justice.
Gregori said the decision had been made on July 25 and Nezzar informed on Monday.
Nezzar, considered one of the most powerful men in the military junta during his tenure as defence minister from 1990 to 1994, was arrested in Geneva in October last year on suspicion of war crimes.
A two-day hearing was held on the basis of evidence given to Trial by two victims but Nezzar was freed on the condition that he continued to co-operate with Swiss justice.
A spokesman for Nezzar said he was “available to the Swiss justice, wherever he is”.