Attorney General (Switzerland)

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The Federal Public Prosecutor's Office ( French Ministère public de la Confédération , Italian Ministero pubblico della Confederazione , Rhaeto -Romanic Procura publica federala ? / i ) is Switzerland 's public prosecutor 's office at the federal level. She directs criminal investigations into criminal offenses for which she is responsible and leads the prosecution in these criminal proceedings . It is also the enforcement authority for international legal assistance . Its history dates back to 1848.


Criminal offenses that are directed against the state structure or the national interest and are therefore subject to federal jurisdiction fall within the jurisdiction: cross-border money laundering , corruption , organized crime and white- collar crime , offenses against magistrates , federal officials or public authority, offenses against persons protected by international law and diplomatic Missions, illicit trafficking in war and nuclear materials, illicit intelligence , genocide , explosives crimes, crimes on board aircraft, counterfeiting of money and federal documents , election and vote fraud, and other federal crimes.

The Office of the Attorney General promotes cooperation with the cantonal criminal prosecution authorities in Switzerland and coordinates cooperation in the cross-border fight against crime with judicial authorities abroad, for example with the American FBI in the war on terror .

She also participates in the drafting of federal criminal and criminal procedure laws.


The Office of the Attorney General is headed by the Attorney General, who is elected by the United Federal Assembly. The first federal prosecutor (then known as general prosecutor ) was Paul Migy from 1851 to 1852 , followed by Jakob Amiet . Amiet justified his voluntary resignation in 1856 by saying that drawing an annual salary of 4,300 francs for prolonged inactivity in Bern was no longer compatible with his civic ethos. As a result, the position was not filled for many years. With the new federal constitution of 1874 , the office disappeared from the list of federal functions.

Only under pressure from abroad after the Wohlgemuth affair was the position occupied again in 1889 by the liberal politician Jakob Albert Scherb . Franz Stämpfli had the longest term of office from 1918 to 1948 . He was succeeded by Werner Lüthi . In 1955, René Dubois was the first social democrat to be elected federal prosecutor by the Federal Council. He committed suicide in connection with a spy scandal about to be uncovered, in which he himself became involved without his knowledge. From 1974 to 1989, Rudolf Gerber was federal prosecutor. In 1989 he resigned and took early retirement in connection with the fichen scandal and the affair involving Federal Councilor Elisabeth Kopp . The events led to a reorganization of the Swiss Attorney General. From 1994 to 1999, the later chief prosecutor of the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague , Carla Del Ponte , held the position. Valentin Roschacher held this position from March 1, 2000 to July 2006 . On an interim basis, the Office of the Federal Prosecutor was continued by Deputy Federal Prosecutor Michel-André Fels . From August 13, 2007, Erwin Beyeler was the Attorney General of Switzerland until he took office as Chief Public Prosecutor of the Canton of St. Gallen . On June 15, 2011, Beyeler was not re-elected by the United Federal Assembly for another four-year term; his term ended at the end of 2011. His successor was Michael Lauber, who had to resign in the wake of the Fifa affair in 2020. On September 29, 2021, Stefan Blättler , previously commander of the Bern cantonal police , was elected his successor from January 2022.

FIFA affair

On September 28, 2011, the United Federal Assembly elected Michael Lauber for the term of office from 2012 to 2015. On June 17, 2015, he was confirmed in office for the term of office from 2016 to 2019 with 195 out of 216 valid votes. For the re-election of September 25, 2019 by the United Federal Assembly for the term of office 2020-2023, the judiciary committee of the parliament recommended by 9 votes to 6 with one abstention not to re-elect Lauber. The background to this was proceedings against members of the organizing committee for the 2006 World Cup in Germany . According to the commission, Lauber had grossly negligently violated official duties by meeting FIFA President Gianni Infantino . Lauber was narrowly re-elected on September 25 with 129 out of 243 valid votes; the absolute majority required for re-election was 122 votes. After public pressure and the legal disputes, Lauber announced his resignation on July 24, 2020. He resigned at the end of August 2020. As of September 1, 2020, the two deputy federal prosecutors Jacques Rayroud and Ruedi Montanari took over the duties on an interim basis until Lauber’s successor was elected.

After Parliament lifted Lauber's immunity, a criminal investigation was opened against him in connection with the meetings with FIFA President Infantino, including allegations of abuse of office or incitement to abuse of office. Lauber was accused in particular of first denying a third meeting with Infantino. He then claimed that he had no recollection of the unrecorded meeting. Just like his head of communications André Marty . Infantino himself and the Valais senior public prosecutor Rinaldo Arnold, who had arranged the meeting, also claimed that they had no memory of the meeting. The Federal Administrative Court found that it was "absurd" that there was a collective memory failure. Corruption and criminal law expert Mark Pieth said: "In the USA, Michael Lauber would go to prison in view of all these allegations." The Süddeutsche Zeitung called the Fifa affair arguably the biggest judicial affair in Switzerland in 2020. Criminal proceedings were also opened against Lauber’s head of communications, André Marty , in 2021. In September 2021, Stefan Blättler was subsequently elected the new federal prosecutor effective January 1, 2022.

Attorneys General and Federal Attorneys of the Swiss Confederation

year Surname
1851-1852 Paul Migy
1852-1856 Jacob Amiet
1857-1889 (vacant)
1889-1899 Jacob Albert Scherb
1899-1916 Otto Kronauer
1916-1948 Franz Stampli
1949-1955 Werner Luthi
1955 (vacant)
1955-1957 Rene Dubois
1957-1958 (vacant)
1958-1967 Hans Furst
1968-1974 Hans Walder
1974-1989 Rudolph Gerber
1989-1990 (vacant)
1990-1993 Willy Padrutt
1994-1998 Carla Del Ponte
1999 (vacant)
2000-2006 Valentin Roschacher
2006-2007 Michel-André Fels (interim)
2007-2011 Erwin Beyeler
2012-2020 Michael Lauber
2020-2021 (vacant)
since 2022 Stefan Blättler

web links


  1. a b Swiss Attorney General: History. 1848-1888 - The beginnings. Retrieved April 30, 2020 .
  2. a b People speak of him "until he goes" , Weltwoche 20/2019.
  3. The dead man lay on the floor. In: Daily Gazette . March 22, 2007.
  4. Daniel Gerny: Former Federal Councilor Rudolf Gerber - the man who arrested Jeanmaire . In: New Zurich newspaper . 13 August 2019 ( [accessed 31 July 2020]).
  5. Switzerland. Parliamentary Investigation Commission (EJPD): Report of the Parliamentary Investigation Commission (PUK) of November 22, 1989: Incidents in the EJPD. (PDF; 8.4 MB) Berne 1989.
  6. Federal prosecutor Valentin Roschacher resigns ( memento of March 14, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) . Media release from the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office, July 5, 2006.
  7. Erwin Beyeler becomes the new federal prosecutor ( memento of September 27, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) , media release of the FDJP , June 8, 2007.
  8. Erwin Beyeler new federal prosecutor , Schweizer Fernsehen , Tagesschau with video, June 8, 2007.
  9. Federal Prosecutor Beyeler surprisingly voted out. In: Schweizer Fernsehen , June 15, 2011.
  10. Beyeler: "A political non-re-election". In: Schweizer Fernsehen , June 15, 2011.
  11. Time is of the essence when it comes to Beyeler successor. In: 20 minutes of June 15, 2011.
  12. Andy Müller: Election of Stefan Blättler - Correct, direct, unpretentious: This is the new federal prosecutor. In: 29 September 2021, retrieved 29 September 2021 .
  13. Nelly Keusch: Stefan Blättler has been elected the new federal prosecutor with a brilliant result. In: 29 September 2021, retrieved 29 September 2021 .
  14. The Federal Assembly elects Michael Lauber as federal prosecutor. In: swissinfo . September 28, 2011.
  15. Further term of office for federal prosecutor Lauber. In: SRF 1 . June 17, 2015.
  16. Christof Forster: Federal prosecutor Lauber makes up ground. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung of September 24, 2019, retrieved on September 24, 2019.
  17. Attorney Lauber narrowly re-elected. In: of September 25, 2019, retrieved on September 26, 2019.
  18. July 24, 2020: Attorney General Michael Lauber resigns.
  19. Michael Lauber is definitely leaving at the end of August , Neue Zürcher Zeitung, August 19, 2020.
  20. Lauber's immunity is definitely lifted , SRF, August 24, 2020.
  21. Marcel Gyr: Federal prosecutor Lauber is now assuming a third meeting, but does not remember. This raises new questions. In: NZZ. 27 April 2019, retrieved 3 April 2021 .
  22. Thomas Knellwolf: After heavy criticism: federal prosecutor claims memory gaps. In: Daily Gazette. 27 April 2019, retrieved 3 April 2021 .
  23. Henry Habegger: Fifa affair: puzzling memory gaps in the federal prosecutor's office: After Lauber, his press spokesman is now in need of explanation. In: Argauer Zeitung. 30 April 2019, retrieved 5 April 2021 .
  24. Carlos Hanimann: In office without dignity. The Republic, May 13, 2020, retrieved April 5, 2021 .
  25. Marcel Gyr: "The allegations against federal prosecutor Lauber are severe, but they are probably correct - his hand-knitted method can damage Switzerland's reputation in the long term". NZZ, April 27, 2020, retrieved April 5, 2021 .
  26. Claudio Catuogno, Thomas Kistner: In the hands of Gianni Infantino. Süddeutsche Zeitung, April 17, 2020, retrieved April 5, 2021 .
  27. sda/cbe: Federal Prosecutor's Office: Criminal proceedings against André Marty. In: January 5, 2021, retrieved April 5, 2021 .
  28. Daniel Gerny: The impeccable Mr Blättler . In: New Zurich newspaper . No. 227 , September 30, 2021, p. 11 ( [accessed September 30, 2021]).