The Dorneck-Thierstein (SO) court has been sitting since Monday morning in an undisclosed location to try two men accused of murdering a 71-year-old Swiss in 2010 in Metzerlen (SO). The two defendants are believed to be members of an international criminal organization specializing in jewelry store burglaries.
The trial is expected to last until Friday. He is held in a secret location to ensure the safety of everyone involved. The public is excluded from the hearings. Media representatives can follow the trial by video transmission.
The two defendants are a Dutchman of Serbian origin and a Serb. They are accused of murder and organized robbery. The facts date back to March 14, 2010. A 71-year-old man, a local politician, was seriously injured at his home in Metzerlen. He died four months later in hospital.
According to the indictment, the two defendants acted on the orders of a 66-year-old Serb. They would have gone to the victim’s home on the orders of their sponsor to steal objects and money, all for an estimated value of several million francs.
The two defendants could not find any valuables or money in the house. During the burglary, the septuagenarian was seriously injured in the head.
The alleged sponsor of the burglary was said to have received information that there was valuable property in the victim’s house. The prosecution has identified the alleged informant. This is a 51-year-old Swiss woman who died in the meantime. The investigation against this woman was therefore closed.
Arrests in 2017
The crime remained unsolved for a long time. In 2011, the investigation followed the trail of one of the two defendants, a 43-year-old Serb who was then in prison abroad. He was finally arrested in Switzerland in 2017.
Two months later, the other defendant, a 40-year-old Dutchman, was arrested in the Netherlands as part of a coordinated operation. He was remanded in custody in Switzerland.
The trial began last December. It had to be postponed because the lawyer for one of the defendants left the courtroom to protest the conditions of his client’s detention.
The lawyer then declared that his client was treated “like an animal”, detained in a kind of bunker without the possibility of seeing the light of day. In his cell, the lawyer claimed, there is no sink and no toilet, only a hole in the floor.