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On March 29, 2016, the European Court of human Rights ruled in Bédat v. Switzerland that the imposition of a fine on a journalist for publishing documents covered by investigative secrecy in a criminal case is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. According to the press release, Arnaud Bédat, a Swiss citizen and professional journalist, published an article concerning the live criminal proceedings against a man who had run his car into a large group of pedestrians before throwing himself off a bridge. In the article, Bédat described the events and summarized the questions by police and the investigation judge as well as the defendant’s answers, and set out the charges against him. It further mentioned that the defendant showed no remorse and included photographs of letters the defendant sent to the judge. The public prosecutor initiated proceedings against Bédat for publishing secret documents, which resulted in a fine of 4,000 Swiss francs. Bédat argued that the sentence violated his rights under article 10 (freedom of expression) of the Convention. The Court disagreed, finding that while the conviction had interfered with his rights of freedom of expression, the interference was prescribed by law and pursued legitimate aims. While the Court acknowledged “Mr Bédat’s right to inform the public and the public’s right to receive information,” it stressed that the article showed a “sensationalist approach” which was “exclusively geared to satisfying a relatively unhealthy curiosity” by the public without “provid[ing] any insights relevant to the public debate.” The Court further found that “it was legitimate to provide special protection for the secrecy of the investigation in view of the stakes of criminal proceedings, both for the administration of justice and for the right of persons under investigation to be presumed innocent.” Recognizing that the article painted a “highly negative picture of the accused” and appeared at a time when the proceedings were still ongoing, the Court concluded that “the records of interviews and the accused’s correspondence had been discussed in the public sphere, out of context” and “had entailed an inherent risk of influencing the course of proceedings in one way or another.” Finally, the Court ruled that the defendant’s right to private life had been affected by the article, and noted that “[t]he highly personal nature of the information disclosed by the article had called for the highest level of protection.” It therefore ruled that “the criminal proceedings brought against the applicant by the cantonal prosecuting authorities had been in conformity with the positive obligation incumbent on Switzerland under Article 8 of the Convention to protect the accused person’s private life.” This positive obligation on the state exists irrespective of any civil remedies available to the accused.