Eric Zemmour will find his way to the courthouse. Far-right polemicist Eric Zemmour will be retried for his vehement diatribe against Islam and immigration in 2019 during a political rally called the Convention of the Right. On Tuesday, the Court of Cassation overturned his September 2021 acquittal. The Supreme Court of Justice has ordered a new trial before the Paris Court of Appeal against the former presidential candidate, who will be tried again for public insults and incitement to racial hatred.
“We have a new hearing ahead of us,” Eric Zemmour’s lawyer Me Olivier Pardo said. During a “rally of the right” organized by relatives of former National Front (now RN) deputy Marion Maréchal on September 28, 2019, Eric Zemmour delivered a speech condemning the “colonization” of immigrants and the Islamization of the street.
The chronicler also described the veil and djellaba as “the uniform of an occupying army”. At first instance, the Paris Criminal Court considered that these remarks constituted “a call, sometimes implicit, sometimes explicit, to discrimination and hatred against the Muslim community and its religion” and sentenced Eric Zemmour to a fine of 10,000 euros.
On September 8, 2021, the Court of Appeal overturned this decision and acquitted the controversialist, a decision that the Prosecutor General’s Office and anti-racist associations as civil parties have appealed. The appellate judges concluded that none of the controversial remarks being prosecuted were directed against “all Africans, immigrants or Muslims, but only against a subset of these groups,” the Court of Cassation recalled in its decision seen by AFP .
SOS Racisme “welcomes this decision”
“The controversial remarks refer to Muslim immigrants from Africa, that is, a group of people defined by both their origin and their religion, subject to the provisions of the law,” the Supreme Court ruled, which thus overturns the release.
“The Court of Cassation teaches Eric Zemmour a real lesson in law. She was not deceived by the truncated presentation of her remarks, which misled the Court of Appeal. The intervention of a polemist during a right-wing convention needs to be considered globally, not piecemeal,” Patrice Spinosi, an MRAP lawyer, responded to AFP. The SOS Racisme association “welcomes this decision and will once again be a civil party in the upcoming new lawsuit,” she said in a press release.
The association Maison des Potes also hailed the “victory of all anti-racist associations as civil parties” in this case.
Source: Le Parisien
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