Swiss prosecutors oppose early release of Russian murderer

Swiss prosecutors have appealed to the country's Supreme Court against the early release of Vitaly Kaloyev. The Russian citizen was found guilty of murdering a SkyGuide employee in 2005, but his sentence was reduced in July.

The last time Vitaly Kaloyev saw his wife and two kids was on the eve of July 1, 2002. That day a Russian passenger liner collided with a cargo plane over Bodenzee in Germany.

At that moment Peter Nielsen, a SkyGuide employee, was on duty at the air traffic control. It is he, who was later found guilty of the crash. Two years later he was found dead on his doorstep.

It is a humane decision. It is clear that Kaloyev committed a crime, he killed a man. But it is also clear why he did that. And humanly we understand it. And the Swiss understand that Kaloev is a man, who lost all his family through his victim's fault.

Nilolay Svanidze,
Russian television journalist

In 2005 a Swiss court sentenced Kaloyev to eight years in prison for killing Nilsen.

But this year his term was reduced to five years and three months. In July,  the court decided to free him on parole. 

The prosecution appealed the court's decision and even asked to cancel the sentence reduction.
 
“This is an exceptionally cruel crime. Taking this into consideration and also the sentences handed to other murderers, I think five years and three months is too lenient,” Prosecutor Willrich Veder explained.

But Kaloyev's brother says, the court should remember that in the crash Kaloyev lost all his family. 

Russian human rights advocates hailed the court's decision to release Kaloyev and pointed to the grave condition he was in at that time.

“It is a humane decision. It is clear that Kaloyev committed the crime, he killed a man. But it is also clear why he did that. And humanly we understand it. And the Swiss understand that Kaloyev is a man, who lost all his family through his victim's fault.” Nilolay Svanidze, Russian television journalist, declared.

Kaloyev has already served the greater part of his sentence.  After losing his family and freedom, he has a hope to get back the latter. The question is, whether he will be allowed to do so.