Lawyer Monthly - February 2023

About Simon Bächtold Simon Bächtold is a former public prosecutor who has acted on both the cantonal and federal level. Since 2020 he has acted as a specialised attorney in Zurich, focusing on criminal defence and cybercrime. About Bächtold Gallarotti Bächtold Gallarotti Rechtsanwälte is a Zurich-based law firm specialising in cybercrime, private prosecution and criminal defence. The firm advises private individuals, companies and Swiss authorities, drawing upon its practitioners’ experience as former prosecutor’s to better understand how the police and public prosecutor’s office work. Contact Simon Bächtold Founding Partner Bächtold Gallarotti Rechtsanwälte Rotachstrasse 15, 8003 Zürich, Switzerland Tel: +41 44 242 20 20 E: witnesses directly, but rely on the written protocols in the file. They are obliged to question defendants, but even these hearings are often limited and rarely have an impact on the outcome of the case. The prosecution is not even obliged to take part in the court hearing, except if a sentence exceeding one year’s imprisonment is requested. Where do you see the biggest shortcomings in the Swiss system of criminal prosecution? As I am also active in the field of cybercrime, I must note that the state of affairs in this field is clearly not satisfactory in Switzerland. The main problem with the Swiss approach to combating cybercrime is that it is the 26 Swiss cantons which are primarily competent for criminal prosecution. Some Swiss cantons are so small that they have fewer than 100,000 Inhabitants. Cybercrime, however, is global and not local. The cantonal competences lead to confusion and to many negative-competence conflicts, where no authority is willing to take on a specific issue. Since investigations in this field are also time-critical, the unwillingness of the cantons to act leads to the termination of many cases before serious investigations even begin. This is very unsatisfactory form the victims’ point of view and should be addressed by politics. One option would be to create a new prosecution authority on the federal level that would focus on certain cybercrime phenomena in close coordination with the cantonal authorities. What do you enjoy most in your job as a specialist in criminal law and cybercrime? Having worked as a public prosecutor as well as a criminal defence attorney, I have a unique perspective on the criminal procedure. It enables me to understand the position and the concerns of the prosecution as well. This can help in striking deals but also with effective confrontation. I am passionate about reaching the best possible outcome for my clients. If I come across flagrant injustice, I become very passionate and go every extra mile to defend the client affected. In the field of cybercrime, I often represent victims. Here it is my aim to boost efficiency by collecting and consolidating individual cases that belong to the same phenomenon. This significantly improves valuefor-money for clients and also helps the authorities. I enjoy making my contribution to this win-win approach. THOUGHT LEADER 55

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy Mjk3Mzkz