The hearing promised to be long, this Thursday, November 4 at the Bobigny Criminal Court (Seine-Saint-Denis). Alas, the trial of nine Greenpeace activists, accused of having repainted an Air France Boeing 777-200 in green, on the tarmac at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport, on March 5, has turned short.
After barely an hour and a half of debates, the judge decided to cancel the current proceedings, thus following the pleadings of the two defense lawyers, Marie Dosé and Alexandre Faro, who had denounced the illegality of “Retention of activists” and “Violation of their rights”. “It’s a victory not only on the procedure, but also on the substance. Because it is one thing to want to criminalize activists, but it is quite another to violate their rights ”, declared Marie Dosé at the exit of the hearing.
If the procedure was declared void, and the court refused to judge the case on the merits, the nine Greenpeace activists are not released from all prosecution. The complaint filed by Air France and Groupe ADP (formerly Aéroports de Paris), the two civil parties, is still running. The two grounds for prosecution, “To degrade voluntarily” a plane and “Disturb the operation of airport facilities in order to degrade an aircraft” remain. But from the moment when the judge, Charles Moscara, considered that the procedure was tainted with illegality, that he consequently considered not to have been “Regularly entered”, it is now up to the prosecution to restart the procedure. The defendants could therefore be summoned to court to answer, on the merits, for their actions.
“There are other ways”
The lawyers for the civil parties were careful not to enter into the debate on the nullity of the procedure. But Claudia Chemarin, the advisor of Air France, believes that the trial should take place, to promote “The awareness of the risks that these activists take and the risks they make others run with such actions”. The airline which claims one euro in damages, having also been compensated for the costs that the operation cost them by insurance, wants the debate, she said. “The climate is an important issue, but there are other ways than these dangerous actions, and Greenpeace has other possibilities to communicate. “
While waiting for a new judicial appointment, therefore, for one of the defendants, Eva Ferrero, 36, residing in Ardèche, said she was satisfied. “Because the judge did not endorse the criminalization of activists”. “We were so mistreated at the depot, it was “Midnight Express”, no water, toilet in such a state that you do everything not to go for 24 hours. After thirty hours in police custody, we are touched, even if we are extremely determined. “
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Lawsuit against Greenpeace activists accused of repainting plane green canceled