The GPK are checking whether they can investigate what Peter Lauener (l.), Alain Berset’s ex-spokesman, passed on to Ringier.
Pascal TischhauserDeputy Head of Policy
Do Parliament’s Control Committees (GPK) take on the Corona leaks? The GPKs of the National Council and Council of States will discuss this on Monday.
As is known, special investigator Peter Marti (72) is conducting criminal proceedings for breach of official secrecy during the Covid pandemic. Alain Berset’s (50) former department spokesman Peter Lauener (52) is accused of continuously passing on confidential information to Marc Walder (57) during this time. Walder is the head of Ringier Verlag, which also publishes Blick.
The GPK of the National Council, headed by Prisca Birrer-Heimo (63, SP) and that of the Council of States, led by Matthias Michel (59, FDP) from Zug, will clarify whether they act as the supervisory authority over the Federal Council and the federal administration of the Corona leaks allowed to accept, although Marti has already opened a procedure.
There is actually a clear answer to this on the GPK website: In the six-page paper “Supervisory determination on the information rights of the Audit Committee of the National Council” this question is answered with a clear yes.
Details still unclear
Former federal judge Niklaus Oberholzer and criminal law professor Giovanni Biaggini each prepared an opinion on June 5, 2008. In summary, the two and the GPK of the National Council come to the conclusion that the information rights of the GPK also extend to investigations by the criminal prosecution authorities, as stated in point 3, number 6.
The confidentiality of the investigation does not conflict with the information rights of the GPK and does not restrict them, the paper says.
At best, it needs to be clarified in more detail which data may be used and which not. There is talk, for example, of telecommunications secrecy, which could be affected when evaluating emails and SMS from the former spokesman Peter Lauener.
Does the seal also apply to the GPK?
The former head of communications also had the confiscated data, i.e. the e-mails and SMS, sealed. The courts have to decide whether or not she can use Marti in the criminal proceedings against Lauener.
Irrespective of this, however, the question arises as to whether the seal also applies to the GPK. And if so, whether the GPK – like Marti before – should get the emails again from the Federal Office for Information Technology and Telecommunications (BIT).
After all, these messages are subject to the Public Information Act, as long as their content is not purely private. An example of a purely private message would be a congratulatory email on the occasion of an aunt’s 70th birthday.
So it could well be that the GPK will not make a final decision on the Corona leaks on Monday, but will agree to have all detailed questions legally examined so that the further action of the supervisory authority is really watertight.