The criticism was certainly virulent, but for the court, it does not fall within the scope of the law. Prosecuted for his attacks against the investigating judge Jean-Michel Gentil after the indictment of Nicolas Sarkozy , the deputy UMP Henri Guaino was released Thursday. At the hearing on October 22 before the 17th chamber of the Paris court, the prosecution had requested a fine “of around 3000 euros” against the parliamentary Yvelines prosecuted for contempt of court and discrediting a court decision.
After the indictment of Nicolas Sarkozy for abuse of weakness to the prejudice of billionaire Liliane Bettencourt, 21 March 2013, Henri Guaino had stepped up attacks against the judge. The old pen Nicolas Sarkozy, who recently resumed service with the former president, then flies radio studio television set to defend that which he was special adviser to the Elysee. Decision “irresponsible”, “unbearable”, “unworthy” Henri Guaino sounds the charge. For him, the judge Gentil “dishonored man, institutions, justice.” The former president has finally received a dismissal in the case Bettencourt. “History proved me right,” said Henri Guaino.
The court held that, with regard to statements made by a parliamentary to a general subject of interest, the permissible limits of freedom of expression had not been exceeded, explained Anne-Marie Sauteraud President. “This ruling upholds justice”, said Thursday greedily Henri Guaino, in a nod to one of the comments that have earned this trial. “I can only thank the court for making justice and recognized the freedom of expression of parliamentarians, which is an absolutely essential element of a functioning democracy,” he responded to the press.
Gentil judge’s lawyers have announced that their client would appeal the decision. If the floor is not the same, the appeal process will only cover civil aspect of the judgment. The magistrate, asking 100,000 euros in damages, was dismissed due to the release of Henry Guaino.
“In this case, we consider that the outrage was evident, and a parliamentarian can not afford to say anything in any way,” Mr. Leon Lef Forster said. “A man can not be insulted, treated in an unworthy manner, only because a member is permitted,” said the lawyer Gentile judge. “Despite the violence,” the words of Henri Guaino, “who could legitimately shocking, it would be disproportionate to impose a criminal sanction” against him, said the court.
If Henri Guaino was not expressed in the protected part of the chamber, “the authorized limits of free speech” are expanded for an MP, said the court, which also notes that “judges must be particularly protected due to their duty of confidentiality that prevents them from reacting directly themselves. ” MP “only expressed his indignation without uttering insults or defamation or threats,” say the judges, who recalled that his position had been taken and shared in an open letter by one hundred and seven parliamentarians, who have not been prosecuted.
Some had traveled at the hearing to support their colleague. Henri Guaino hearing that was attached to transform into debate on freedom of expression. If he had conceded that his criticism was brutal, he kept his remarks, claiming an “inalienable right” to “indignation”, the “critical”, “exaggeration and caricature.”
One of the lawyers of the judge, Mr. Rémi Barousse, was attributed to Henri Guaino the responsibility of the “climate of hate” suffered by the magistrate, who was the subject of threats and notably received bullets in the mail.