The battle over naked selfie photos sent by Baden mayor and former Green Party Parliamentarian Geri Müller to a female acquaintance in summer 2014 has ended. On Thursday the woman’s lawyer withdrew an appeal against the penalty she received in July 2016.
The woman who received the photos – the politician’s chat partner at the time – was found guilty of defamation, libel, attempted coercion, forgery and unauthorized recording of conversations, following an investigation conducted by the office of the attorney general of the canton of Bern. She will have to pay CHF35,100 ($36,000) in fines and legal fees.
The Swiss newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag, which first reported on the affair in August 2014, was also cited for inappropriate action by the Swiss Press Council. Responding to 18 complaints from other Parliamentarians, the Council found in July 2016 that not even Müller’s position as mayor of Baden, a town about 20km (14 miles) west of Zurich, justified the story.
The affair sparked nationwide debate over just how private someone’s personal life really is. The newspaper had argued that it was in the public interest to print the story given Müller’s position.
“The decisive question remains, whether the sexist actions of executive leaders in administrative offices is permitted, and if they do occur, whether people can claim the protection of privacy,” stated Schweiz am Sonntag publisher Peter Wanner.
swissinfo.ch and agencies