Swiss Space Systems CEO Pascal Jaussi is recovering in the hospital after being set on fire by unknown assailants, according to media reports. He suffered burns over 25 percent of his body.
According to the Tribune de Genéve newspaper, Jaussi was abducted and taken to a wooded area in canton Fribourg where he was doused in inflammable liquid and set on fire. The canton’s prosecution service told the Swiss News Agency on Monday that it had opened an investigation into the incident that took place on August 26.
The Tribune reported that Jaussi had been in touch with police in recent months about threats he had received about his work with Swiss Space Systems.
The company has been developing an air-launched system to place small satellites into orbit. It also plans to introduce microgravity flights aboard a modified airliner later this year.
Swiss Space Systems has had financial difficulties. Its American office was closed last year. Sources said U.S. based personnel had no been paid for much of 2015. They also report that the company had difficulty making payroll in Switzerland.