The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

The couple did not engage in human trafficking according to the Zurich Higher Court.

On Friday, the Zurich Canton Supreme Court acquitted a married couple of the charge of human trafficking, but found them guilty of other charges. The verdict is not yet final and can be appealed to the Federal Court. The man was found guilty of sexual coercion, extortion, threats and other related offenses. He was sentenced to 27 months in prison, of which 10 months must be served and 17 months are suspended. He was also ordered to pay a fine of 180 daily rates of 30 Swiss francs and to pay 6000 Swiss francs in compensation to the private plaintiff. The woman was found guilty of extortion and other related offenses and was given a suspended sentence of 10 months and a conditional fine of 140 daily rates of 30 Swiss francs. The sentences were reduced due to the long duration of the proceedings. The case involved a young woman from Southeast Europe who was employed as a nanny and housekeeper by the accused couple from the same cultural background without a work permit between November 2015 and June 2016. The court found that the accused had taken advantage of the woman's inexperience and exploited her with regard to wages. The main charge was human trafficking. However, the court acquitted the accused of this charge, as the conditions for a conviction were not met. The woman had received a good education, had language skills and had completed a commercial training and additional training in the hospitality industry. She also had access to her passport, a key to the apartment, a mobile phone and free internet. The court concluded that she was not in a state of economic distress or coercion and that her decision-making and freedom of action were not restricted. It is not yet known whether the prosecution or the defense will appeal the verdict to the Federal Court.


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