GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Valais cantonal high court in Sion has ruled in favour of Swiss public broadcaster RTS concerning its right to post on its website a report on Vins Giroud. The Sion-based winery, which is emerging under a new name, Château Constellation, has faced a series of legal cases this year. Its owner, Dominique Giroud, was recently found guilty of tax fraud and was given a suspended sentence and ordered to pay back taxes.
Giroud has stepped down as CEO of the new company, but he is reportedly the majority owner with a large share.
Giroud brought the case against RTS in relation to findings by the cantonal chemist that the winery was cutting some of its wine with lesser wines that were not declared. Giroud had not denied the charge, but claimed that the RTS report amounted to defamation. The court Thursday 21 August ruled against him, saying that RTS was reporting on information in the public domain.
The media company and Le Temps newspaper have been involved in another case with Giroud. The wine producer, one of the canton’s largest, spent several days in jail this summer after judicial authorities ordered an investigation into charges he had hired a hacker, private investigator and a federal intelligence officer to help him tap the phones of journalists at the two media.
The case is still open.