Federal Court – Prison worker convicted of beating inmate

Federal Court – Prison worker convicted of beating inmate

Thu, Aug 17th 2023

An employee of the Lenzburg AG prison has been sentenced to a conditional fine for punching and kicking Brian from Zurich, who has become well-known through the media. The federal court dismissed the man’s appeal.


In addition to the fine of 90 daily rates of CHF 210, the Federal Supreme Court confirmed a fine of CHF 4,700. The employee also has to pay Brian a compensation of 1,000 francs. This emerges from a judgment published on Thursday. The employee was found guilty of abuse of office and simple assault.

A physical altercation between Brian and six prison employees occurred when the prisoner was ordered to be transferred from the Lenzburg prison (JVA) to another prison. Brian was to be handed over to the canton police waiting downstairs. Brian spat at the employee and took up a fighting stance opposite him.

Because of the aggressive behavior, the six employees intervened and brought the thrashing Brian to the ground. A spit hood was pulled over his head. When Brian refused to roll onto his stomach, the applicant kicked him twice in the body.

After being threatened with a taser, the applicant punched Brian in the head. After using the taser, staff were able to turn the prisoner onto his stomach. When Brian finally lay on his stomach, handcuffed and with his legs fixed – his head still in the spit hood – the clerk hit the man’s head again.

Prohibited procurement method

In his complaint, the prison officer explained that the video confiscated by the public prosecutor’s office during a house search of the JVA, on which the events can be seen, could not be used as evidence. The public prosecutor’s office should have requested it by way of legal assistance.

In its considerations, the Federal Supreme Court confirmed that the procurement of the video was not carried out correctly. The risk that the recording would be deleted by loyal colleagues does not justify the confiscation. In fact, the video should have been requested via legal assistance.

Nevertheless, the lower court rightly admitted the video as evidence, writes the Federal Supreme Court. Evidence obtained illegally can be used if it is essential for the investigation of a serious criminal offence. Abuse of office is one such act.

Strike at defenceless

According to the Federal Supreme Court, the public interest in clarifying the crime outweighs that of the complainant in a legally compliant collection of the video. He kicked the prisoner twice in the body and hit him in the head, although he was already lying on the ground or had been completely fixed.

The Federal Supreme Court notes that the dispute was hectic and tense and was also demanding for an experienced prison employee. However, the prisoner’s potential for aggression was known.


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