Christian Dorer, Editor-in-Chief of the Blick Group
Roger Köppel recently made public in his video “Weltwoche Daily” that the Russian secret service had confiscated luxury watches from the Swiss company Audemars Piguet in Moscow.
That was in a paper that National Councilor Köppel received – and from which he is not allowed to divulge anything because of the Commission’s secrecy.
Editor-in-Chief Köppel says, however, that he had already received this information in his capacity as a journalist – and was therefore allowed to publish it.
On Wednesday, the National Council’s immunity commission lifted Köppel’s parliamentary protection. If the councilors of states agree, the federal prosecutor’s office can investigate the case.
This process shows that today no one can credibly be a good editor-in-chief and at the same time a good member of the National Council.
In 2015, Roger Köppel, who was already editor-in-chief at the time, was elected to the National Council. He was dubbed “high-flyer”, “superstar” or “Blocher’s successor” and has already been traded as a future Federal Councilor.
Today Köppel does not play any halfway important role either in the SVP or in Parliament.
On the other hand, Köppel is still a journalist at heart, and successfully so: his voice carries weight, even his opponents recognize his intelligence and his feeling for topics. His “World Week” also hits Köppel’s own party in the pan and describes SVP politicians as “armchair glue” or “pale newcomers”. An independent journalist does something like that – an SVP National Council does not.
Half of Switzerland is discussing the lifting of Köppel’s immunity. The prognosis is daring: the federal prosecutor’s office will never be able to clarify whether editor-in-chief Köppel or National Councilor Köppel received the confidential information.
It doesn’t matter either. It would be more important for Switzerland to talk about a much more important event: that Parliament tightened precautionary measures against the media. Unwanted items can be prevented more easily in the future with a super-provisional injunction.
Only one word has changed in the law: Previously, a “particularly serious disadvantage” was required, now a “serious disadvantage” that could possibly arise from an article is sufficient, and the judge stops it without hearing the journalist.
This will have a major impact, because: every judge will decide against the media in cases of doubt, and that is understandable – the legislator wants it that way.
If you want to hide something, it will be easier in the future. Switzerland has fallen to 14th place in the global press freedom rankings and is no longer in the top 10 for the first time.
This is worrying – and not how Roger Köppel knows about a raid in Moscow.
More BlickPunkte by Christian Dorer