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Court ruling Journalist cleared of electoral fraud

Computer keyboard, a hand and instructions for e-voting

The defendant received his voting papers twice. Once for use by post or at the ballot box, but also for the e-voting option.

(Keystone)

Switzerland’s supreme court has acquitted a TV journalist of alleged electoral fraud, overruling decisions by two lower courts.

The judges ruled the 48-year old man never had the intention of falsifying the result of the votes in March 2015, according to a court statement published on Wednesday.

The reporter had voted twice in national and cantonal ballots, using the conventional method by post and the online channel available in Geneva, as part of his report for Swiss public television RTS. He had received the voting material twice by error.

He argued that he believed the computer voting system would prevent his second vote and his TV report on the flawed system would help reveal a problem of major public interest.

He also denounced himself by contacting the Geneva authorities.

They in turn filed a complaint against him for electoral fraud. He was found guilty by two separate courts and given a suspended sentence as well as a fine of CHF400 ($407) which was later reduced.

The Federal Court in its final verdict overruled the two previous sentences.

The French-speaking RTS channel had broadcast the reportexternal link on the apparent flaw in the voting system on March 9, 2015.

+ More details on the case

swissinfo.ch with SDA-ATS; urs

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