Roman Polanski was recently arrested in Switzerland over a crime committed in the USA way back in 1978. The world of film has vowed to stand by him and many have signed a petition to have him released.
What has caught my attention in all this was a radio interview I heard the other day in which the views of ordinary Swiss and US folk were solicited.
Those in USA were of the view that regardless of what time has elapsed the Swiss authorities were right to arrest Polanski whilst those in Switzerland were of the view that, it was wrong to arrest Polanski especially given the time taht has elapsed and he should released immediately.
A comment from a Swiss woman stood out for me in particular she said,
Switzerland tolerates terrible crimes all the time why are the authorities so fussed about an incident that is over 30 years old?
An interesting if not curious statement to make, and what sprung to mind was all the money that the corrupt african leaders have reportedly hidden in secret Swiss accounts over the years, whilst their country folk die of hunger!
Is this what the Swiss woman was referring to? I don’t know for sure but I certainly wondered.
So is it right that Swiss banks should if it is true allow African leaders to steal from their countries and hide their loot in the Swiss bank vaults? If Africans asked the Swiss authorities to return this loot would they?
Should Switzerland be focusing on this instead of a crime committed in 1978 in which the victim has since dropped the charges?
My answer is of course not, abuse of any sort should not be tolerated regardless of the amount of time that has elapsed.
However the Swiss authorities need to be more consistent in their approach as opposed to being selective as to which crimes they will prosecute