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Swiss sued over 'spy'

Bucharest (Reuter) - A sensational Romanian newspaper says it is suing the Swiss Foreign Ministry for calling one of its reporters a spy. "Evenimentul Zilei sued the Swiss Foreign Ministry" the paper declared.

Last week, Switzerland said it had withdrawn Jean-Pierre Vettovaglia, 49, its married ambassador to Bucharest, because of his relationship with a 21-year-old Evenimentul Zilei (News Day) political reporter, Floriana Jucan. "Miss Jucan is an employee of the Romanian espionage service, and her relationship with the Swiss ambassador therefore posed a security risk to Switzerland," the Foreign Ministry said.

Evenimentul Zilei's editor, Ion Cristoiu, denied this, saying: "The Swiss statement damaged the newspaper". Court officials confirmed that the suit, which seeks token damages of just one lei (a fraction of 1p), had been lodged. Ms Jucan says she had a relationship with the ambassador, but denies working for the security service.