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12 September 2006 Blog Home : September 2006 : Permalink

Upcoming French Court Cases

There are some interesting cases due to come up before various courts in Paris. The first actually started yesterday and was the trial of 15 chum's of l'Escroc who are accused of vote rigging on his behalf:

Allies of Jacques Chirac went on trial yesterday accused of vote-rigging at the time the French president was mayor of Paris.

The case, which reached a Paris court 17 years after the alleged offences, has added to the suspicions of sleaze that have dogged the president's career since he was mayor.

Fifteen politicians and officials face up to a year in jail, fines and bans on holding public office if convicted of planting more than 300 bogus voters on the electoral registers for a Paris district in 1989.

The BBC's report of the same case has even more on the "suspicions" of sleaze with a whole list of them helpfully masquerading as "related stories" on the RHS. As both articles note this sort of thing is why l'Escroc seems very keen on appointing another crony his former legal adviser, Laurent le Mesle, as chief prosecutor in Paris. Over at the Wapping Liar, Charles Bremner explains the reasons behind that keenness very clearly:

PRESIDENT CHIRAC was accused yesterday of manoeuvring his former legal adviser into a key judicial post to avoid being tried on corruption charges after leaving office and losing immunity from prosecution.

M Chirac was seeking to appoint Laurent Le Mesle as the chief state prosecutor in Paris. If confirmed by the Cabinet next month, M Le Mesle will have a decisive role in determining whether the President should be prosecuted in connection with corruption allegations when he steps down.

M Chirac’s critics believe that M Le Mesle, 55, will do everything in his power to block action, given his close relations with the head of state. He was an adviser on legal matters to the presidency between 2002 and 2004 and now serves as the head of the private Cabinet of Pascal Clément, M Chirac’s Justice Minister.

All this is germane primarily to France and its international repercussions, if any, are to do with l'Escroc's political legacy. So while it is interesting an a schadenfreude sort of way, the international community doesn't have any good reason to really care. Or at least not until l'Escroc's Lebanese adventure backfires, as I expect it will fairly soon.

The other court case though is about part of the original Pallywood - the faked killing of Mohammed al-Durah. The Augean Stables has three adjacent posts that set the scene for the trial and explain why, contrary to some earlier expectations, France 2 and its journalist Charles Enderlin, look likely to regret their attempts to sue the exposers of their fabric of lies and evasions, not to mention their apparent cooperation with the propagandists of Palestine. Given the recent examination of Hezbollywood in all of its manifestations, this is a case of international importance as it should help to expose the falsity of much media reporting from the Middle East. As the first Augean Stables post concludes:

Al Durah represents a major error of the French media that have severe problems living up to their ethical standards (déontologie). The consequences of this particular error have had a catastrophic impact on both Israelis (their reputation) and the Palestinians (led into a losing war with this picture as incitement). They have also done serious damage globally to the fabric of civil society. If free and responsible (hence reasonably accurate) media are the eyes and ears of civil society, then we are flying blinded by this kind of information over very dangerous terrain. The ability of French courts to defend the rights of citizens to criticize the media’s work and make their criticisms known, to assess the evidence before them fairly, and to understand what is at stake in their decision – all of these matters will be played out this fall in the Parisian court.

Much in our troubled world hangs in the balance. The more people know, the more the judges become self-conscious about making their decision, and the more we can hope that France will make a sane decision from the perspective of both the law and the media. And if the French courts decide against these defendants, then at least those of us paying attention will have a sense of just how reliable French society is, and how resilient it will be in these coming years.

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin