Press Council judges complaint against Republic to be "unfounded

The Swiss Press Council considers the complaint against a report by the digital magazine Republik about Zug cantonal government councilor Beat Villiger to be manifestly unfounded. It is not acting on it.


In the article "Zug justice director prevents reporting" had the Republic reported shortly before the government council election on October 7, 2018, that the Lucerne public prosecutor's office had dropped the proceedings against Villiger despite various contradictions. With a super provisional injunction, the CVP politician is now preventing the publication of the "Republic" investigation.

The Press Council does not even consider a complaint against this report. The complainant found the publication of this article itself questionable, because no one had been convicted. Moreover, it was a private matter and the timing one week before the elections was questionable.

In its decision, the Press Council recalls that there are basically no prohibited topics. The control of the judiciary is part of the media's task, which also includes reports on discontinued criminal proceedings.

At the same time, the Press Council reaffirms the principle that media professionals must respect the privacy of public persons as well. However, this only applies insofar as the public interest does not demand the opposite. For example, it is of public interest how a public prosecutor's office works and how it justifies a cease-and-desist order against a cantonal justice director. Both the public prosecutor's office and Villiger were able to comment on the questions posed by the "Republic". The Press Council also protected the publication one week before the election. The public interest in the results of the research clearly prevailed.

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