Europe

Swiss find signs of spying linked to Turkish community

Swiss federal prosecutors say they have "concrete indications" pointing to alleged political espionage by people linked to the Turkish community in Switzerland.

Attorney General Michael Lauber's office says it opened a criminal investigation into suspicions of such spying on March 16, after having received permission from the federal government.

Under Swiss law, prosecution of political offenses generally requires authorization by Switzerland's seven-member executive, the Federal Council, according to Lauber's office.

Friday's announcement comes a day after Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter told his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, that Swiss authorities would investigate any illegal intelligence activities in Switzerland.

Turkish voters face a referendum next month on constitutional changes that could grant sweeping new powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which has fanned tensions between Turkey and some European countries.