Swiss vaccination panel chief says he was kidnap victim

ZURICH (Reuters) – The head of Switzerland’s vaccination advisory commission has identified himself as the victim of a brief kidnapping last month that led to a fatal shootout with police.

Several Swiss media published a statement from Christoph Berger, saying a kidnapper he did not know had taken him captive for around an hour on March 31 and demanded a large sum of money under threat of violence before releasing him.

Berger, a doctor, has made frequent appearances in the media during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The perpetrator did not make any reference to my role as president of the vaccination commission,” the Neue Zuercher Zeitung paper quoted Berger as saying in the statement.

Police investigating the case shot dead a 38-year-old German suspect while trying to apprehend him last week. They said the suspect had shot a female companion as police closed in, killing her.

Berger was not immediately available for comment. In his statement he said he would have no further comment on the matter.