Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

France's chronic unemployment problem

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Candidates Goodluck Jonathan and Mohamudu Buhari call for calm

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Anger at mental health stigmatisation after crash allegations

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Yemen, the Escalation; France's Three Way Race; Clarkson Shown the Exit (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Germanwings Crash; Co-pilot 'hid illness' on crash day (part 1)

Read more

#THE 51%

The extraordinary tale of the Egyptian mother who lived as a man

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: San Cristobal, Venezuela's tinderbox

Read more

FOCUS

Portugal: Anger at corruption scandals, one year after bailout

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Bistronomy: Stylish and simple eating

Read more

Europe

Probe to determine guards responsibility in jail fire death

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-04-26

After Swiss media reported the alleged passivity of prison guards while a detainee was dying in a fire he lit in his cell, a judge opened an investigation of the death.

AFP - Swiss judicial authorities said Monday that they were investigating the death of a prisoner after media reported that guards delayed intervening for 90 minutes following a fire in his cell.

"An investigation was opened to shed light on the circumstances that led to the death of (Skander) Vogt," an investigating magistrate in the western Swiss canton of Vaud, Daniel Stoll, told AFP.

Vogt, 30, died of suffocation from smoke inhalation in his cell at Bochuz prison on March 11, reportedly after setting fire to his mattress overnight.

Transcripts of phone calls involving prison officials, police and rescue services published by Swiss newspaper Le Matin indicated that staff had delayed fully intervening as they waited for special units to deal with the high security detainee.

French radio RTL broadcast what it said were extracts of the recordings on Sunday in which some of those involved appeared to make insulting or mocking comments about Vogt while he was suffocating.

After one guard remarked that he could die after 50 minutes of breathing smoke, a colleague reportedly replied: "Yeah, well that'll do him some good."

Local authorities also launched an inquiry into the leak of the recordings on Monday, Swiss news agency ATS reported, amid a local political storm over the incident and Vogt's case.

Vogt had been kept in prison since 2001, well beyond the original 20-month sentence he was serving, because of repeat violent offences committed while in jail.

He was "considered extremely dangerous by experts," a spokesman for Vaud regional authorities said.

Date created : 2010-04-27

COMMENT(S)