Swiss in desperate hunt for escaped murderer and rapist

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Swiss police were on Thursday desperately hunting for a convicted murderer and rapist who escaped while being taken out for a walk by guards in western Switzerland.

"Neuchatel and Vaud police are still searching for the detainee at large since June 27," Swiss police said in a statement.

The man, who had been jailed indefinitely after being convicted of murder and several instances of rape, has been described as dangerous by Swiss authorities.

He was taken out of prison by guards into the countryside for a walk, during which he managed to injure one of his two escorts with a sharp object, before fleeing.

According to images circulated by police, the 64-year-old man is bald and wears oval glasses.

"This individual can appear violent," said police of the 1.80 metre (5ft 11in)-tall fugitive, adding that he has a tattoo of a nude woman on his left forearm.

French border air police have joined in the hunt and checks have been tightened at the frontiers, said a Vaud police spokesman.

Convicted of rape in 1970, the fugitive reoffended four years later while free on probation, according to newspaper Le Temps.

Several months later, he killed a 17-year-old and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

During a monitored outing in 1986, the man managed to escape and took a train to Geneva, where he raped the psychiatrist who was treating him during his detention.

© 2011 AFP

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