aubonne support group | 01.02.2006 19:34 | Repression
In June 2003, an affinity group blockaded the Aubonne Bridge with a climbing action in order to stop a G8 delegation from reaching the summit in Evian. The police cut the climbing rope and nearly killed two activists. Now the policeman who cut the rope and his senior officer are in court. They are charged with body harm with negligence…
The Aubonne support group is mobilising to the trial, a party and the surrounding workshops
Activists holding Gesine in the last second
Martin after the fall
Gesine on the rope
On the 13th, 14th, 15th of February 2006 a court case against two Swiss police officers will take place in Nyon, Switzerland. They are charged with causing bodily harm through negligence. The activists had tried to have them charged with endangering life, severe bodily harm and non-assistance in distress. The lawyer for the activists has now submitted an official request to increase the charges to endangering life.
During the G8-protests in 2003, Michael Deiss cut the climbing rope of two activists who were blocking the Aubonne Bridge, nearly causing both their deaths and seriously injuring one of them. His senior officer, Claude Poget, had created the chaotic conditions at the scene that made this act possible. The injured climber was in hospital in Switzerland for a month and sustained irreversible injuries. Many solidarity actions and campaigning took place after the incident in June 2003 and again around the court case AGAINST the activists in May 2004. The case gained a lot of national and international media attention.
At the trial in 2004 the activists were found guilty of blocking the road and endangering the lives of the drivers. Shortly afterwards the investigating judge decided to effectively drop the case against the police. Only after an appeal and a great deal of public pressure did the high court overturn his decision and allow for the case to go ahead.
The court case against the police will be decided by the same judge who gave the activists suspended prison sentences, Jaques Antenen. If the charges against the police are proven, there will only be minor penalties, like fines or short sentences on probation. Given the history of police impunity in Switzerland, it seems unlikely that they will be found guilty. The Aubonne Bridge campaign from the very beginning has demanded the suspension of the two police officers involved, an independent investigation into the repression that took place during the G8 and compensation for those who were seriously injured. Until now the Canton de Vaud has refused to pay compensation, but this will now be dependent on the outcome of the court case.
During the court case in February, several witnesses and activists from the bridge and several police officers will testify.
The Aubonne support group is mobilising to the trial, a party and the surrounding workshops. More info on the web
Check out the 8 min. video of the action on www.aubonnebridge.net