Ambassador Jacques Pitteloud cleared by Federal Criminal Court decision

Press release, 20.12.2018

Jacques Pitteloud, former Swiss ambassador to Kenya, has been exonerated by the Appeals Chamber of the Federal Criminal Court. On 19 December 2018, the court dismissed an appeal against the Special Attorney General's discontinuance of proceedings. This decision is now final. The FDFA, which has always defended Mr Pitteloud, takes note of the court's decision with satisfaction.

The Appeals Chamber of the Federal Criminal Court points out in its decision that Ambassador Pitteloud acted on the instructions of the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) and that his actions were not unlawful. Mr Pitteloud, who currently heads the Directorate for Resources at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), has expressed his satisfaction with the final decision.

On 15 May 2015, two businessmen from Kenya filed a criminal complaint with the OAG against Mr Pitteloud, formerly the Swiss ambassador to Kenya, for attempted coercion, abuse of public office and breach of official secrecy while serving as head of mission in Kenya. The OAG closed the proceedings in March 2016.

An appeal subsequently brought by the two businessmen before the Appeals Chamber of the Federal Criminal Court was partially successful: while the court upheld the decision to close the proceedings for abuse of public office and for breach of official secrecy, it referred the case back to the OAG to investigate the allegation of attempted coercion. Given the likelihood of the OAG being involved as a party to the proceedings, a Special Attorney General was appointed.

The Special Attorney General concluded his investigation with a ruling issued on 16 April 2018. An appeal was again filed against this decision with the Appeals Court of the Federal Criminal Court. The Federal Criminal Court dismissed the appeal in its decision of 19 December 2018, and the case is now definitively closed.

Address for enquiries:

FDFA Information
Federal Palace West Wing
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs