Defence minister defends himself

Embattled Defence Minister Samuel Schmid has admitted making mistakes, but says he did not lie over his knowledge of charges brought against the former army chief Roland Nef.

This content was published on September 5, 2008 - 10:34

Speaking on Swiss public television on Thursday evening, he confirmed he had been informed about the sexual harassment charges against Nef as early as November 2006.

Schmid had earlier claimed he only became aware of the pending legal case in April 2007 during the selection process for the head of the armed forces. The fallout from the case forced the defence minister to suspend the army chief in July of this year. Nef later resigned.

Schmid told the Tagesschau programme he had forgotten being told about the investigation in November 2006. "I'm only human," he said.

The defence minister's handling of the Nef affair has been criticised by Swiss newspapers and some political parties. Schmid has insisted he will not resign.

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