Four men aged 24 who filed a complaint against Parisian police officers in 2015, mainly for violence, were found guilty of slanderous denunciation on Monday and ordered to compensate others.
They were issued a penalty-compensation penalty, consisting in "compensating for the damage done within one year". The Paris Criminal Court ruled that the penalty was three months imprisonment.
They will be required to pay damages for moral harm to the police between 3,000 and 9,999 euros. These sentences come with a provisional execution. They will be applicable even if the defendants appeal. The defendants' lawyer did not have immediate access to the whole decision and therefore could not respond immediately.
"I am extremely satisfied with this decision, which finally establishes truth in this matter. Me Jerome Andrei, their lawyer, stated that the police officers I represented were not guilty but were victims to this instrumentalization by complainants.
18 minors and young people filed a complaint against 11 officers of the Neighborhood Support Brigade, (BSQ), in the capital's 12th arrondissement, denouncing violence sexual assault or discrimination.
The investigation had concluded with most facts being dismissed. However, four of the officials were sent back to court. On April 4, 2018, three of them received a five month suspended sentence for violence. They were however released on October 23, 2020 after appealing.
Seven police officers brought slanderous accusations against five plaintiffs by way of direct citations. Direct summons allow a person to summon the alleged perpetrator to court without any investigation. The person citing can collect evidence of guilt.
The court dismissed one subpoena on a procedural matter during the hearing held April 4. Denouncing "absolutely appalling media reporting" at the close of 2015, "even before the complaint had been filed", Me Andrei had criticised in his pleading a "reversal" of roles, speaking of "lies", and a complaint that was "constructed from scratch".
"Conspiracy" had criticized Me Slim Ben Achour in response, calling it a "gag process". Lawyer recalled that in October 2020, the State was sentenced in civil proceedings for gross negligence. The State was ordered to pay almost 70,000 euros to 11 of the complainants for certain facts. These were police violence, unjustified identification checks, and irregular arrests.