Suspect in Geneva stabbing of Jewish man deemed unfit for trial

(JTA) — The suspect in the stabbing of a Jewish man in Geneva was found mentally unfit to stand trial in Switzerland.

A court in Geneva earlier this month found that the 22-year-old man, who was not named, was too “mentally ill” to stand trial for stabbing and seriously wounding a 32-year-old French Jew in 2011, the Tribune de Genève daily reported. The court cited  his clinical paranoia and “irrational fear of an international conspiracy.”

The attack occurred in the parking lot of Geneva’s Natural History Museum while the victim, a citizen of France from Aix-les-Bains, was putting a baby carriage in the trunk of his car. He was stabbed four times in view of his family.

The victim, an Orthodox Jew, arrived in the hospital in critical condition and spent several weeks there recovering.

The defendant, who grew up in Britain, was arrested a year after the attack in the Netherlands and extradited to Switzerland at the end of what the CICAD, a Swiss watchdog on anti-Semitism, termed "a long investigation by the police.”

The court declared the attacker unfit to stand trial based on a psychiatric evaluation that said he was a “paranoid schizophrenic suffering from visual hallucinations as well as hallucinated voices and fears of an international conspiracy.” He will be sent to an institution for the mentally ill who pose a serious risk to their environment, the paper said.

Johanne Gurfinkel, the secretary general of a CICAD, told JTA the defendant belonged to far-right circles.

“The perpetrator of this act may have suffered from mental problems, but he clearly attacked his victim out of anti-Semitic hatred,” Gurfinkel said.

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