This trial was finally held without defendants or lawyers since they decided to leave the hearing after the judge refused to postpone the trial. The defendants’ lawyer announced that he would appeal this decision.
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The five men arrested during the demonstration against the “basin” of Sainte-Soline were sentenced to sentences ranging from two to three months in prison suspended and a three-year ban on staying in Deux-Sèvres, learned Monday November 28 franceinfo via the journalist present at the hearing. The defendants’ lawyer announced that he would appeal this decision.
On October 26, the gendarmes had been targeted by mortar fire, throwing Molotov cocktails and various projectiles, according to the Deux-Sèvres prefecture. During these clashes, around sixty police officers and around thirty opponents of the construction of giant water reserves in this Poitou commune were injured. After this day of demonstration, the Minister of the Interior denounced a form of “ecoterrorism”.
The trial, which took place this Monday afternoon at the Niort criminal court in Deux-Sèvres, began in the presence of four defendants (aged between 29 and 66) out of the five summoned since the last (aged 26) did not make the trip, suffering from dizziness according to his lawyer. It was he who had been injured in the head by an LBD shot during the demonstration in Sainte-Soline. All five were appearing in court for having participated in the banned gathering to protest against the mega-water reserve.
The trial was finally held without defendants or lawyers since they decided to leave the hearing after the judge refused to postpone the trial. Alexis Baudelin had requested this referral to have time to bring in witnesses and experts. The judge estimated that in a month the defense had had time to prepare. It was this decision that motivated the departure of the lawyer and his four clients.
Outside, helped by his megaphone, Alexis Baudelin addressed the demonstrators gathered in front of the court. He stated : “We refuse that the trial is a travesty because the cause is too important and the subject of the mega-ponds concerns us all. We will appeal.”
“We just make examples to intimidate other activists”denounced this Monday on franceinfo the deputy EELV of Vienna Lisa Belluco. “The Minister of the Interior had clearly called for this trial to be made an example. Examples had to be made and exemplary sanctions were needed, so we expected a judgment of this kind”she added.
“Is the goal simply to scare activists who are fighting to protect water for all?”.at franceinfo
“It has not been proven that these activists committed violence,” also estimated Lisa Belluco, who recalls that “participating in a prohibited demonstration is a fine and not a suspended prison sentence”.
Source: France TV Info