Sri Lankan unable to pay fine dies in Swiss prison custody


A 42-year-old Sri Lankan man died in a detention centre in Lucerne on Friday evening. He had to spend two days in custody because he was unable to pay a fine, reports SwissInfo.

The police noticed that the man was in physical distress via surveillance cameras. He died on the spot despite an attempt at immediate resuscitation, Lucerne’s public prosecutor’s office revealed on Monday external link. The investigating authorities blame “acute” health problems for his death.

Before being detained, the Sri Lankan was examined by a doctor. He was given the green light to serve his short prison sentence, according to the public prosecutor’s office. An autopsy was ordered to clarify the cause of death.

“In its judgment, the court shall impose an alternative custodial sentence of at least one day and a maximum of three months for the event that the fine is willfully not paid.” states Article 106 of the Swiss criminal code external link.