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Swiss prosecutors open a war crimes probe over a Russian attack on journalist Guillaume Briquet in Ukraine

30.03.2023, 13:50

Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has opened a war crimes probe in connection with Russian military shooting at the car of Swiss journalist Guillaume Briquet in Ukraine in March 2022, which resulted in injuries for the reporter.

This was reported by the Swissinfo.

"A criminal procedure has been opened following a report by a non-governmental organisation," an OAG spokesman told the newspaper. A complaint was filed last August by Ukrainian NGO Truth Hounds, backed by Swiss NGO Civitas Maxima.

As reported by the IMI, on March 6, 2022, Russian troops shot at the car carrying Swiss journalist Guillaume Briquet near Vodiano-Lorine, Mykolaiv oblast; the car had "PRESS" stickers on it. After the shooting, the journalist pulled over to the side of the road. The Russian military approached and searched him, taking away his passport, 3,000 euros in cash, his personal belongings, his helmet, the footage on his camera, and his laptop.

As a result of the shooting, several bullets hit the glass, injuring the journalist. He suffered injuries to his face and forearms.

After Briquet was released, he got into the car and drove to Kropyvnytsky to get medical assistance. Doctors at a Kropyvnytsky hospital diagnosed him with a cut on the right frontal area of his head, applied bandages, and let him go.

“The soldiers wanted to kill me,” the journalist tells SonntagsBlick. The paper says this will be the first war crimes case opened by the OAG in the context of Ukraine.

The OAG has also set up a unit to gather testimonies, notably from Ukrainian refugees in Switzerland, for possible future use in national or international courts.

For the moment, the proceedings have been opened against unknown suspect(s). But SonntagsBlick says the Ukrainian researchers have identified those responsible and are pointing to a Russian special unit. Truth Hounds has passed this information to the OAG, the paper reports.

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