Six members of the security team of long serving Cameroon president, Paul Biya have lost an appeal in a Swiss court.
They were convicted for assaulting a Swiss journalist last year when President Biya visited the country.
Media reports quotes Robert Assael, lawyer to one of the defendants terming the Geneva court’s move a violation of their diplomatic immunity.
“It doesn’t matter if the head of state was on a private visit, was inside the hotel and was not approached [by the journalist]” he is quoted.
The Swiss public television, RTS, journalist oressed charges last year after being assaulted by the president’s security detail in front of the InterContinental Hotel, where Biya mostly lodges when in the country.
He said the Presidential security team seized his bag containing a mobile phone and wallet during a demonstration outside the hotel in June.
The seized items were later returned, and the pressman sustained a few injuries.
The incident took place during a demonstration outside the hotel where Biya was staying by a group of protesters.
Reports say following the assault, Switzerland summon the Cameroon ambassador, warning him against violation of freedom of the press.
The court later gave the six security officers suspended prison sentences. This was after they were found guilty of coercion, damage to property and illegal appropriation.
Since multiple protests in the diaspora, and the raging COVID-19 pandemic, president Biya has greatly minimised his trips abroad, saving millions of tax payers’ money.
Mimi Mefo Info