MP takes legal action over Facebook insults
Céline Amaudruz, a Swiss People’s Party (UDC) member of parliament from Geneva, has filed criminal complaints after being described by a youth politician on Facebook as a “stupid bitch” and an “escort girl”.
An elected member of the youth wing of the Liberal-Radical party in Neuchâtel is resigning from his position after admitting to making the comments.
But Amaudruz said she was continuing with the legal action in Geneva and Neuchâtel after the 17-year-old youth stepped down from his position and issued public and personal apologies.
Yves Nidegger, a fellow MP from the right-wing UDC, said she was harassed for months on Facebook, the French-language national broadcaster RTS reported.
The young politician, who has owned up to insulting Amaudruz through the website, used a pseudonym.
The most injurious comments reportedly dated from 18 months ago, when he was 15.
Amaudruz had earlier revealed that she was the target of an ugly smear campaign when she campaigned in the 2010 federal election.
The teen involved, a high school student who was vice-president of Neuchâtel’s young Liberal-Radicals, cannot be identified because of his age.
He issued a statement stating that his “foolish interventions” posted on Facebook were unacceptable and that he accepted the “opprobrium” being directed toward him.
“Today I have grown up and I deeply regret my behaviour,” he said.
He added that he awaited “with serenity” the decision of justice officials and its consequences.
However, when interviewed by Le Temps newspaper, the youth questioned the timing of the complaint, noting that when he made the remarks being objected to he was not yet a member of any political party.
A friend was also reportedly involved in posting the offending comments.
Thibault Steimer, secretary-general of Neuchâtel’s right-of-centre Liberal-Radical party, said the teen had made a “youthful mistake” before he became formally involved in politics.
The youth has sent a letter of apology to Amaudruz.
However, the MP shows no sign of backing down, telling Le Matin that the criminal complaint was going to be followed up.