Europe

European Court fines Sweden over girl video case

  • 12 November 2013
  • From the section Europe
Shower head - file pic
Image caption The girl found a secret camera in the bathroom

The European Court of Human Rights has told Sweden to pay compensation to a woman whose right to privacy was violated when her stepfather tried to film her naked in the bathroom.

Eliza Soederman was 14 when she found the hidden video camera in the bathroom at home in 2002.

The court said Swedish law had failed to protect her privacy because at that time covert filming was not an offence.

The stepfather was convicted of sexual molestation over the filming.

He was acquitted on appeal.

The court in Strasbourg said Sweden must pay Ms Soederman 39,700 euros (£33,500; $53,370) in damages, which includes compensation for legal costs.

A court statement said her mother had reported the filming to police about two years later and had burned the film without anyone having seen it.

A law covering such violations of privacy took effect in Sweden in July this year.

The European Court judges took the view that the man could not have been convicted of attempted child pornography because the Swedish penal code did not define the term "pornographic picture".

He was acquitted over alleged sexual molestation because Swedish law at the time did not extend that crime to cases of covert filming.

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