Switzerland issues arrest warrants for 2 Turkish diplomats

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The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has issued arrest warrants for two Turkish diplomats for allegedly planning to kidnap a Turkish-Swiss businessman, according to the Swissinfo news website.

Diplomatic immunity reportedly does not apply to the men, who are also accused of espionage.

The office confirmed on Monday that they will arrest the Turkish nationals upon their entry to Switzerland.

At the time of the alleged incident, the two men worked for the Turkish Embassy in Bern, one as a press attaché, the other as second secretary. Neither men currently resides in Switzerland.

Criminal proceedings against the two diplomats have been ongoing since March 2017. They will not be granted diplomatic immunity, the foreign affairs ministry said three months ago, because the alleged crimes do not fall within the boundaries of diplomatic tasks.

The diplomats are accused specifically of having gathered political intelligence for another state and of having attempted to kidnap a Swiss businessman with Turkish roots.

The Swiss man is supposed to have been a supporter of the Gülen movement, which the Turkish regime says was responsible for a failed coup that took place in July 2016. The alleged kidnapping was attempted a month after the coup.

The Turkish foreign minister has denied the allegations.

Swiss officials had made clear to Turkish representatives that intelligence activities directed against the Turkish diaspora in Switzerland were unacceptable, the Swiss News Agency said on Monday.

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