Federal Councilor Alain Berset was the victim of an attempted blackmail in November 2019, shortly before the election of the Federal Council. A person demanded from him the payment of 100,000 francs to avoid the disclosure of compromising documents.
The day after his re-election on December 11, 2019, Alain Berset filed a criminal complaint with the Public Ministry of the Confederation (MPC). A day later, the person who accused him was arrested. She was sentenced in September for attempted blackmail.
The MPC confirmed on Saturday the information revealed the same day. According to this criminal order, the alleged blackmailer would have used photos and private correspondence between her and Alain Berset. The woman demanded 100,000 francs. The object of the blackmail is not officially specified.
The day before her arrest on December 13, she had sent a letter to Fribourgeois telling her that she was withdrawing her request and that her accusation did not correspond to reality. She returned the originals of the documents she had sent him by email.
The woman signed a statement last June saying she was okay with all data being totally erased on her used devices.
Alain Berset’s lawyer specifies, however, in the NZZ am Sonntag that the Public Prosecutor remains in possession of these documents. They still exist. (read the box about it)
The woman was found guilty of attempted blackmail. She is sentenced to a 150-day fine at 30 francs, or 4,500 francs with a two-year suspension. She still has to pay a fine of 900 francs. His turnaround justified a reduction in his sentence.
The defendant must also pay the procedural costs of 2,500 francs, the defender’s fees assigned automatically (7,615 francs). The two parties have jointly asked to keep the content of the accusations secret, as they fall within the private sphere.
The spokesman for the Federal Department of the Interior, Peter Lauener, said on Saturday evening that the content of this blackmail attempt conveyed “false claims and undermining honor”. They concern the private life of Alain Berset eight years ago, said the spokesperson.
For Alain Berset’s lawyer, quoted by SonntagsBlick, the case is over and his client “is more disturbed by the many death threats received since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic” than by this blackmail case .
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