Nine years in prison for a Swiss woman who tried to slaughter two people in the name of jihad

Nine years in prison for a Swiss woman who tried

The case illustrates the difficulty for justice to judge and qualify this kind of acts, committed by people with mental disorders.

The facts date back to November 2020. The young woman, then 28, who had tried to join a jihadist fighter in Syria, went to a shopping center in Lugano, in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. She goes to the kitchen knife department, asks a saleswoman for advice, then attacks a customer. She cuts him badly in the throat and beats him. She threatens another person, before finally being overpowered.

The Swiss Criminal Court was prosecuting her for a terrorist act. An extremely rare accusation in Switzerland and which the defense tried to drop, underlining the psychological fragility of their client who had a stay in a psychiatric unit. According to the experts cited at the helm, she suffers from mild mental retardation and a form of schizophrenia, and presents a risk of recurrence.

no remorse

From a Swiss father and a Serbian mother, she converted to Islam after being married to an Afghan from whom she ended up divorcing last year. At no time during the trial did the defendant express remorse. She assured that if she had to do it again, she would do it again, but ” better… with accomplices “. She also claimed to have, for a long time, wanted to act to ” The Islamic State » and show that she was « capable of carrying out a terrorist act “.

The defense relied on his mental state to refute the “terrorist” motive and had asked for an eight-year prison sentence for “attempted intentional double homicide”. On Monday, the president of the tribunal pointed out that studies have shown that it is not exceptional for terrorists to suffer from stress or psychiatric problems.

The accused was eventually found guilty of attempted murder and violation of the law prohibiting the jihadist groups al-Qaeda and Islamic State. She is sentenced to nine years in prison, but will have to undergo medical treatment. This is less than what the prosecutor demanded, who demanded fourteen years in prison. The prosecution can still appeal.

Read also: Suspected members and sympathizers of the Islamic State group arrested in Germany and Switzerland