Federal Councilor Alain Berset (48) had unpleasant days. Not only because of the Corona crisis, but also because of an attempt at blackmail that unintentionally heaves him into the spotlight.
The perpetrator tried to extort 100,000 francs with several documents. Should the Freiburg magistrate not comply with the demand, they threatened to make public what was unfavorable for him, as reported by the “SonntagsBlick”. Berset then filed a criminal complaint, and the federal prosecutor’s office convicted the perpetrator.
The story was made public on Saturday «World Week» in a breaking news story. Author: Ex-SVP National Councilor Christoph Mörgeli (60). What bothers him most is that the data in question was deleted from the perpetrator’s devices. The Federal Prosecutor’s Office justified this in the penalty order with the fact that “important interests in secrecy both in personal and family as well as in professional terms are shown”.
That raises questions. Berset’s lawyer Patrik Eisenhut comments on BLICK.
VIEW: Mr. Eisenhut, there are various documents that have been deleted. Is that even legal?
Patrik Eisenhut: The documents were only deleted on the perpetrators’ devices. In agreement with the perpetrators, some devices were completely reset to the factory settings, while other devices only deleted the data in question. The data in question was copied from Fedpol and is still available.
Was this data deletion necessary?
Yes. This is about victim protection. In this case, Mr. Berset is a victim whose personal rights must be protected. The perpetrators also saw this and therefore agreed to the deletion. The aim was to prevent the data from falling into the wrong hands – for example through improper disposal of the devices – and the theater from starting all over again.
Now speculation is growing that it could be a catchy picture of an affair. What do you think?
These are speculations that we let ricochet. Mr Berset does not provide any information about his private life. But let me make one thing clear: it is a single photo in which only the face of Mr Berset can be seen. There are no catchy images and therefore no Geri Müller story either. The picture is completely harmless. It could be on Berset’s Instagram account. The remainder is private correspondence that does not belong to the public, everyone involved agrees on this.
Why was the picture enclosed if it is harmless?
Apparently the perpetrators wanted to prove that they knew Mr. Berset. And that this fact is enough to launch such a story.
The Federal Prosecutor’s Office also speaks of the Federal Council’s “professional interests” that would be affected. What would the problem be?
A Federal Councilor has a high professional vulnerability when it comes to unimportant or untrue statements that concern him personally. There is a risk that his professional integrity will be called into question.
There are numerous blackouts in the penalty order. Does Federal Councilor Berset enjoy preferential treatment?
No. The problem is simply that the allegations made are untrue and have been withdrawn by the perpetrators. Here, too, it is about victim protection, i.e. privacy protection. The Federal Supreme Court ruled for the last time in June 2016 that the disclosure of judgments was subject to anonymization. So no preferential treatment for Mr Berset, but correct application of the applicable case law.