In Bordeaux, the arsonists at the town hall door in 2023 were sentenced to sentences of one year to six years in prison

One year after the fire of the imposing wooden door of the Bordeaux town hall in full mobilization against pension reform, the criminal court of the Gironde prefecture pronounced, Monday March 11, sentences of up to six years in prison for five men

In Bordeaux, the arsonists at the town hall door in 2023 were sentenced to sentences of one year to six years in prison

One year after the fire of the imposing wooden door of the Bordeaux town hall in full mobilization against pension reform, the criminal court of the Gironde prefecture pronounced, Monday March 11, sentences of up to six years in prison for five men.

A few hours after the end of the official demonstration, on March 23, 2023, a group of individuals, who had left from an occupied neighboring faculty, had piled up trash cans and pallets in front of the entrance to city hall, before set on fire. An “unjustifiable act”, carried out “without a battle plan but with coordination between everyone”, denounced the first deputy prosecutor Benoît Bernard.

A first defendant, claiming to be “antifa” and already convicted of violence and damage during the “yellow vest” movement, was found guilty of “participation” and “destruction”. He was sentenced to six years in prison with continued detention, taking into account his background and the “seriousness of the facts”, the court ruled.

“Silly move.”

Jessica Lacombe, the lawyer for this 41-year-old man, announced that she will appeal, after requesting his release. “We’re trying to make people believe that this single band of misfits is responsible. This is not the case,” she pleaded, pointing to a file without “concrete elements” on “the preparations” or “the instructions to go and burn down the town hall”. The court sentenced the other four defendants to sentences ranging from one year with suspended probation to two years.

At the bar, the defendants, all unemployed, presenting themselves as heavy consumers of alcohol and drugs, already convicted of violence, theft, or outrages, in turn described the fire as an “idiotic gesture”, “dangerous”. and which “makes no sense.”

Identified by witness and surveillance images broadcast at the hearing, all admitted their participation in the wild demonstration which resulted in the fire. They explained their joy and excitement, captured on camera, by the “group effect” and alcohol, with two of them denying having fanned the blaze. “I was in full delirium, like a triumph in front of a besieged castle in a film,” explained a 38-year-old defendant, who had been wandering since adolescence. The man, convicted twenty-four times in other cases, admitted to having fueled the fire by throwing a scooter equipped with a lithium battery and apologized.

But for the Deputy Public Prosecutor, this act is above all a “desire to destroy irremediably. “It’s erasing history,” he stressed during the hearing.