A wake-up call from Switzerland to Spain following Hervé Falciani's arrest this Wednesday by Spanish police. The Swiss justice ministry has said they didn't ask for his detention two weeks ago, as claimed by Spanish police to justify his arrest. Instead, they told the Catalan News Agency that they renewed their international arrest warrant against him in May 2017, not on 19th March this year.
"It's completely false that he's only been claimed since 19th March 2018", said ministry spokesperson Folco Galli, despite what Spanish police sources said yesterday.
Last May, Switzerland "adapted the original [arrest] order" under the Schengen Information System at the request of the public prosecutor of the canton of Geneva, after Falciani was convicted in abstentia by the Federal Criminal Court. As such, since last year, Switzerland has been requesting the systems engineer's extradition "with the objective of carrying out his sentence in prison", not to put him on trial, as in the original order.
Falciani's arrest in Madrid on Wednesday followed Spain issuing a number of extradition warrants against exiled Catalan politicians, including ERC's secretary general, Marta Rovira, who left for Switzerland almost two weeks ago. This move by Spain has been interpreted as an attempt to pressure Switzerland into granting her extradition.
Switzerland, so far, has opposed political extraditions, which would affect Rovira's case. It could also affect former CUP deputy Anna Gabriel if Spain brings an international arrest warrant against her too.
Falciani was released by the Spain's National Audience court in 2013 since when he has travelled freely around a number of European countries.