after an “unprecedented attack on the freedom of the press”, justice finally decides in favor of “Mediapart”

Mediapart was finally able to publish, Wednesday, November 30, its latest revelations on the political practices of the mayor of Saint-Etienne, Gaël Perdriau. The vice-president of the Paris judicial court, Violette Baty, reversed her first decision of Friday, November 18, in which she prohibited the publication of new information taken from an audio recording dating from 2017. The director of the publication, Edwy Plenel, had then denounced a “prior censorship”, pointing out in particular the fact that Mediapart had no right to adversarial proceedings. Heard in summary proceedings Friday, November 25, he had come to ask “to put an end as soon as possible to an unprecedented attack on the freedom of the press”.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Political blackmail case in Saint-Etienne: “Mediapart” in court against “prior censorship”

A wish largely granted by Baty, who this time decided, Wednesday, November 30, in favor of the investigation site, condemning the mayor of Saint-Etienne to pay him 9,000 euros. In her order, the judge acknowledges between the lines that she was manipulated by Mr. Perdriau’s lawyer, Mr.e Christophe Ingrain, referring in particular “element retention” by the latter and “the motions judge’s lack of information on the status of the ongoing discussions with the journalist”.

“Recourse to the request entailing exorbitant judicial treatment, derogating from an immediate adversarial debate, must not be diverted from its purpose and serve to institute a priori control of any publication”, warns the magistrate. Contacted, the criticized lawyer did not respond to requests from the Monde.

If Fabrice Arfi, co-head of the investigation division of Mediapartis delighted with this legal victory, the journalist now hopes that this “historical censorship” allows for parliamentary reflection. “This sheds light on the need for legislative change to end the conflict between this civil procedure that exists and what the requirements of freedom of information are in our Republic”he assures.

“The press is attacked from all sides”

Reacting to the procedure aimed at Mediapartthe centrist senator Nathalie Goulet tabled, on Monday, November 21, a bill to complete the law of July 29, 1881 on the freedom of the press, guaranteeing that a publication cannot “be prohibited only in application of a judicial decision rendered contradictorily”.

In the meantime, many unions in the profession are concerned about the proliferation of “gag procedures” towards journalists. “The press is attacked from all sideswarns Dominique Pradalié, president of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), as more and more companies abuse the law to weaken freedom of information. » The representative of the FIJ was precisely present alongside the information site Reflets.infowhose appeal hearing also took place on Wednesday 30 November before the 14e Chamber of the Court of Appeal of Versailles.

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