Allegations much heavier than known
Special investigator Marti accused Peter Lauener of state crimes
Special investigator Peter Marti accused Peter Lauener not only of violating official secrecy, but even of “endangering the constitutional order”. Only: He didn’t have a chance with it.
Published: 4 minutes ago
The focus of the investigations: Peter Lauener (left), former spokesman for Federal Councilor Alain Berset.
Special investigator Peter Marti (72) has made much more serious allegations against Peter Lauener than was previously known. The former communications chief of Federal Councilor Alain Berset (50) is said not only to have violated official secrecy, but also to have endangered the constitutional order in Switzerland, as reported by the Tamedia newspapers.
Explosive: The “endangerment of the constitutional order” is an article in the penal code that is one of the “crimes against the state” and is hardly ever applied.
Procured and evaluated e-mails on a large scale
Marti detained Lauener for four days in May 2022 and questioned him on suspicion of breaching official secrecy. Federal Councilor Alain Berset and Ringier CEO Marc Walder will also be questioned as part of the process. However, not as an accused like Lauener, but as a person providing information.
Marti’s accusation against Lauener: Berset’s confidant launched and promoted press coverage via Ringier-Verlag in order to directly influence the decision-making process in the Federal Council. The special investigator had previously procured and evaluated his business and private e-mails on a large scale and without Lauener knowing about it.
According to research by the “Wochenzeitung”, Marti is said to have received Lauener’s professional and private mail traffic from Swisscom and the Federal Office for Information Technology and Telecommunications (BIT) for several years.
Brutal defeat for Marti
Lauener and his defense attorney denied the allegations and had the emails sealed. Reason: The e-mails should not have been used in the criminal proceedings.
Marti ultimately failed with his arguments. The Zurich district court ruled that the special investigator should not have evaluated Lauener’s confiscated emails. There was no urgent suspicion anywhere. Lauener was released, special investigator Marti had to take a brutal defeat.
Lauener reported Marti, accusing him of abuse of office and other crimes. In addition, proceedings are currently underway at the Bern compulsory measures court to lift the seal. This decision in the unsealing process could be taken further by the courts. Marti’s investigations are blocked until there is clarity about a possible unsealing. (oco)