Swiss authorities probe Filipino 'nurse' over Facebook corpse pictures

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 03 March, 2013, 6:30am


Swiss prosecutors opened a criminal investigation after an alleged care-home nurse posted pictures of herself on Facebook sitting next to the corpse of an old woman.

Prosecutors in the eastern region of Saint Gallen said that the suspected offence was disturbing the peace of the dead, a crime carrying a penalty of up to three years in prison.

The tabloid Blick said it had managed to identify the woman as an immigrant from the Philippines who was married to a Swiss man. The newspaper said the woman worked as a cook, not a nurse, and also offered sado-masochist services.

Blick said the pictures were taken in January 2012 at a care home in the community of Mogelsberg which was subsequently closed for unrelated reasons.

The woman reportedly told Blick that she had simply wanted to show a friend back home in the Philippines the realities of life and death in Switzerland.

"I didn't mean to hurt anyone or show a lack of respect," she was quoted as saying.

Blick said it had managed to contact relatives of the dead woman, and that they had demanded that all pictures of her be removed from the internet.

In a string of pictures revealed on Friday by the 20 Minuten newspaper, which said they had been spotted by a reader, a woman in a nurse's uniform was seen laughing and posing at the bedside of a dead woman. The pictures were accompanied by off-colour comments. The paper blanked out the faces of the nurse and the dead woman, as well as the nurse's Facebook name and those of people who commented on the posting. Other pictures posted on the woman's page, which featured what appeared to be satanic imagery, showed her in front of an ambulance, sitting on a motorbike and cavorting in sado-masochist poses.

The Swiss national nurses' federation said it was "shocked and saddened" by the case, adding that it highlighted problems with the Swiss health care sector.