On Tuesday, May 31, the Court of Cassation revoked the conviction of Cedric Herrou, a migrant rights activist, for insulting Eric Ciotti (LR deputy), which he had referred to in 2018 as "the largest French pig".
He was sentenced by the Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal to a suspended fine of 2,000 Euros for public insulting a citizen who is in charge of a public mandat.
The Court of Cassation ruled that the statement was "outrageous" but that it expressed the opinion of its author in an amicable manner, in a controversial context about ideas lent to leaders of political parties, and that this did not violate the allowed limits of freedom of expression.
Although the highest court of the judiciary didn't return the case for a second trial, it pronounced a "cassation without referral", underlining to AFP Cedric Herrou's lawyer, Patrice Spinosi welcoming this "final relaxation".
The activist welcomed the decision on Twitter and reaffirmed the continuation expression except for one letter. He tweeted:
2018 was a time of diplomatic crisis in Europe. Following Italy's refusal of L'Aquarius, a humanitarian ship carrying 630 migrants, Eric Ciotti spoke out to understand the Italian position and asked CNews to bring back boats from Libya to rescue migrants.
Cedric Herrou reacted via Twitter: "I found a French pig that welcomes all misery in the universe!" World champion @ECiotti The militant farmer from La Roya Valley said the next day: "When @ECiotti stated in 2018 'let’s put the migrants into Libya' he would have said in 1940 'Let’s put them in gas chambers'
Cedric Herrou was acquitted by the Grasse criminal court of both heads of prosecution in July 2020 after he filed a civil action against the boss of the Republicans of the Alpes-Maritimes, for public insulting and defamation of a citizen in charge a public mandate.
The court referred to the insulting remarks made by the elected official and said that it was political criticism between "a person especially committed to helping migrants" (an important political figure in this landscape). French politician. Judges noted that criticism expressed in the style of pun - port or pork - is in questionable taste and therefore unquestionably political.
Cedric Herrou was released for defamation after the Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal reversed the judgment.