Diplomatic Immunity Covers “Cowardice”: Turkish minister not liable in Switzerland

Diplomatic Immunity Covers “Cowardice”: Turkish minister not liable in Switzerland

Photo: www.egemenbagis.com

Egemen Bağış, Turkey’s Minister for European Union (EU) Affairs will not be made accountable for his statements over the Armenian Genocide made in Switzerland in the heat of debate about France’s failed initiative to criminalize genocide denial. As Turkish mass media report, the Zurich General Prosecutor’s Office believes that when Bağış made that statement he had diplomatic immunity.

The investigation against Bağış started soon after the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, when responding to a French journalist’s question about his opinion on the resolution “On Criminalizing Denial of the Armenian Genocide” adopted by the French Senate (later the Constitutional Court of France found it unconstitutional), Bağış said that no Armenian Genocide had taken place. “Switzerland is another country where the denial of the, so called, genocide is considered to be a crime. Today in Switzerland I announce that the events of 1915 are not to be considered as genocide. Let them come and arrest me,” he stated.

The decision of the Zurich Prosecutor’s Office was not unexpected for Giro Manoyan, Director of the International Secretariat of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) Bureau in Yerevan.

“Bağış is inviolable as a minister, and I believe this is the only reason why Switzerland cannot file a lawsuit against him. But he, making such a statement in Switzerland insults it, knowing that he breaks the law of this country,” Manoyan told ArmeniaNow, excluding that the stopping of the investigation against Bağış has political motives. “Had there been such a thing they would not have started the investigation at all.”

Many in Armenia called Bağış a coward, emphasizing that he would not have made such a statement in Switzerland, where denial of genocide is banned by the Criminal Code of the country, were it not for his diplomatic status.