In December, Zurich Milieubeizer Roland Gisler submitted further hard drives and documents that are said to have come from the data leak to the Zurich Cantonal Council.
It is the sharpest instrument available to a parliament: a parliamentary commission of inquiry, or PUK for short. Such is now to be used in the canton of Zurich to get to the bottom of the data scandal in the Justice Department.
Blick reported on the affair at the beginning of December: Between 2006 and 2012, hundreds of hard drives from the Department of Justice are believed to have been improperly deleted and disposed of – and ended up in the hands of a previously convicted man from the Zurich milieu, who was trying to blackmail prosecutors. The hard drives contained, among other things, psychiatric reports, telephone lists from the canton police and private addresses of employees. A criminal case is pending against the man.
PUK should come about
The Audit Committee (GPK) of the Zurich Cantonal Council launched an investigation in December, and the first hearings have already been held. Now she is applying to the cantonal parliament for a PUK. The aim is to have the “data misuse incident investigated in depth,” according to a statement.
It can be assumed that the application will be accepted and that the way for a PUK will be open. Representatives of the SVP, FDP, Mitte and GLP spoke out in favor of it back in December. In a joint media release, SVP, FDP and Mitte now welcome the decision of the commission.
“The only correct political means”
The parties state that neither government councilor Jacqueline Fehr (59) nor the judiciary act intentionally. Nevertheless, it is “of elementary importance” that the affair is not only dealt with legally, but also politically. A PUK is “the only right political means” for restoring the trust of the population, for avoiding future mistakes and for clearly naming faulty structures and processes.
Jacqueline Fehr, who only became director of justice in 2015, has been criticized for the affair because she had launched an administrative investigation in 2020 – but had not even informed the business audit commission of details about the case and the results of the investigation.
loss of public confidence
“There is the impression in the cantonal council that the incidents are so serious that the whole thing has to be worked through very carefully,” says Beat Habegger (47), GPK President and FDP cantonal councilor. The disclosure of the affair led to a certain loss of confidence.
With a PUK, the cantonal council has more powers to process what happened. For example, people who no longer work for the canton could also be summoned, says Habegger. The commission can make recommendations to the government. According to Habegger, it is hoped that political responsibilities can be determined in a PUK, among other things, and that it can be ensured that the data is really secure across the entire cantonal administration.
The Zurich cantonal council last used a PUK in 2010, dealing with the corruption case at the Zurich pension fund BVK.