15 February 2018 | The Federal Supreme Court curtly calls "Temps Présent" journalists to order

In a ruling handed down on 15 February 2018, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court has ruled against RTS and upheld the sentence imposed in 2016 on the "Temps Présent" report on Dominique Giroud. The RTS journalists were once again severely criticised for a "biased" report that did not "present the facts fully and accurately", "evading elements that are essential for the public to understand" and "omitting elements that could lead to certain facts being put into perspective".

The report was criticised for "repeatedly portraying Dominique Giroud as an unscrupulous person" and for "implying that he had benefited from favourable treatment" from the Federal Wine Commission, which was entirely untrue. The Federal Court also considered that by "referring to Dominique Giroud's convictions on abortion and homosexuality, RTS gave the public an immediately negative image of the person concerned, gratuitously and without bothering to point out that he had not publicly stated his convictions on these subjects for years".

Finally, the federal judges criticised the RTS journalists for using Dominique Giroud's religious convictions as a "pretext" to "set themselves up as moral judges, thereby discrediting him". This "procedure" was very curtly described by the country's highest court as "gratuitous" and "unacceptable coming from a public service". In conclusion, the Federal Court found, as did the judges of first instance, that "the overall impression given by the report is that of an incriminating document, which deliberately focuses on a person by presenting him or her from the outset and constantly from a moralising and judgmental angle".

This decision, which confirms without exception all the allegations made by the court of first instance, is excellent news for Dominique Giroud and further strengthens his chances of success in the damages proceedings brought against the SSR for having conducted against him a smear campaign unworthy of a public service medium. In the meantime, Dominique Giroud is looking forward to finding out what measures will be taken internally to ensure that RTS, in accordance with its legal obligations, does not repeat such breaches of journalistic ethics in the future.

TF ruling of 15 February 2018

Picture of Dominique Giroud

Dominique Giroud

I'm facing a media storm. I've been wrongly accused of tampering with my wines to make money. Journalists have overdramatised and criticised without any nuance. In so doing, they have tarnished and perhaps ruined forever my reputation as an oenologist. Faced with these accusations, I have decided to publish my version of events on this website.

Readers will be the judge.

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