Wednesday, July 4, 2007

French Justice, Justice on its Back

In the course of a discussion programme on the ARTE television channel last November, Robert Badinter lied outright in saying that in 1981 he had won a court ruling against me “for being a falsifier of history”. I therefore sued him for libel. On May 21, 2007, the 17th division of the Paris criminal court, presided by Nicolas Bonnal, held that R. Badinter had indeed libelled me BUT … IN GOOD FAITH. In its own words, the court declared: R. Badinter “failed to give convincing evidence” in support of his assertion (p. 13 of the judgment) but “the justifying circumstance of good faith” would be “acknowledged” for him (p. 16). Consequently I thus have to disburse 5,000 euros to R. Badinter for his lawyers’ fees and pay court costs as well. Factors beyond my control unfortunately make it impossible for me to lodge an appeal against this villainous judgment (I shall shortly make plain what I mean both by “factors beyond my control” and the term “villainous”).

Remarks that I had made during the Teheran conference on the “Holocaust” (December 11–12, 2006) prompted Jacques Chirac himself, then president of the French Republic, to make my talk at that gathering a special matter for his justice minister, Pascal Clément. At the latter’s request, the prosecutor’s office in Paris opened an inquiry. On April 16, 2007, police lieutenant Séverine Besse and her assistant, having made the journey from Paris, questioned me at Vichy police station. In keeping with custom, I refused to answer their questions, giving them my usual reply to put in their books: “I refuse to collaborate with the French police and justice system in the repression of historical revisionism”. Today, July 4, I learn from the news agencies that on June 13 a formal investigation was assigned to examining magistrate Marc Sommerer, who thus will not fail to summon me to Paris soon.

For an interview given over the telephone on February 3, 2005 to the Iranian television channel Sahar 1, the same Paris court, the same Nicolas Bonnal presiding, had sentenced me, on October 3, 2006, to three months’ imprisonment (suspended) and a fine of 7,500 euros, as well as ordering me to pay the lawyers’ fees – 1,500 euros – of each of the three organisations that had also brought civil cases against me at the trial (LICRA, MRAP and LDH *). Today as well, the 11th division of the Paris court of appeal, presided by Laurence Trébucq, has upheld that sentence, not without adding on another 1,000 euros for each of the three organisations’ legal fees; the monetary sanctions in the matter of this single case thus amount to 15,000 euros.

All that without counting my own legal costs, my travel expenses, the various other outlays, the work in preparing for these trials and the hearings themselves. But the French revisionists are not to be grieved for if one compares their lot with that of the German, Austrian, Belgian, Swiss or Canadian revisionists.

*The LICRA is the “International League against Racism and Anti‑Semitism”; the MRAP is the “Movement against Racism and for Friendship amongst Peoples”; the LDH is the “League of Human Rights” — translator’s note.