A Swiss judge Monday found a group of activists not guilty of trespassing when they stormed into a branch of Credit Suisse bank to protest its investment in fossil fuels.
The defendants and their supporters screamed with joy when Judge Philippe Colelough dismissed the charges and waived the fine. He agreed with the activists that they were protesting against what they say is an "imminent danger" caused by global warming.
"Because of the insufficient measures taken to date in Switzerland ... the average warming will not diminish or even stabilize. It will increase," the judge said, adding that the action of the defendants was "necessary and proportional."
Credit Suisse said it will analyze the verdict. It has previously said it respects freedom of expression, but cannot put up with "unlawful attacks on its branches."
About a dozen young men and women barged into the bank branch outside Lausanne in November 2018 and started playing tennis in the building — a living reference to Swiss tennis star Roger Federer who is sponsored by the bank.
Along with protesting the bank's multi-billion dollar investment in fossil fuels, the activists are urging Federer to cut his ties to Credit Suisse.
Federer issued a statement saying he takes the impacts of climate change very seriously and is using his "privileged position to dialogue on important issues with my sponsors."