The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Journalist Angéloz acquitted in the Godel affair

The Fribourg judiciary has acquitted the journalist Jean-Marc Angéloz. The case concerned the publication of conversations with the former President of the Fribourg State Council, Georges Godel, in book form. The journalist was charged with incitement to breach official secrecy.

The author of the book "Secrets et confidences d'un président" had lodged an appeal against a penalty order issued in March 2023, in which the Public Prosecutor General had imposed a sentence of 100 daily penalty units for two years and an unconditional fine of 1,500 francs.

In his ruling, which is available to the Keystone-SDA news agency, the police judge of the Saane district orders the canton of Fribourg to pay the costs of the proceedings. He also partially upholds the journalist's claim for compensation. The canton of Fribourg must pay him around CHF 16,500 for his defense costs and compensation for non-material damages of CHF 1,000.

The book "Secrets et confidences d'un président" was published at the beginning of 2022, immediately after the end of Godel's term of office. It contains a collection of conversations Godel had with the journalist Angéloz between 2018 and 2021. In it, Godel revealed numerous details from his everyday life as finance director.

Godel had verbally revealed "facts that were not publicly known" to Angéloz. He had also given him access to confidential documents, according to the public prosecutor's office at the time.


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