Lawyer Karim Achoui sentenced for illegal exercise of the profession

Lawyer Karim Achoui was sentenced on Monday February 5 to an 18,000 euro daily fine for continuing to practice his profession illegally in 2015 and 2016, even though the courts had definitively removed him from the Paris bar in 2012

Lawyer Karim Achoui sentenced for illegal exercise of the profession

Lawyer Karim Achoui was sentenced on Monday February 5 to an 18,000 euro daily fine for continuing to practice his profession illegally in 2015 and 2016, even though the courts had definitively removed him from the Paris bar in 2012. The latter accuses him of having pleaded six times before French courts. Mr. Achoui immediately announced his intention to appeal this conviction.

Before the Paris criminal court, the 56-year-old lawyer, known for having defended figures of organized crime, argued that he had registered in February 2015 with the Algiers bar, almost three years after his dismissal. definitive of the Paris Bar for “ethical breaches”. In 2017, the Paris Court of Appeal issued a ban on the criminal lawyer.

However, Mr. Achoui considers that he should benefit from a Franco-Algerian convention of 1962 which allows lawyers “registered with an Algerian bar” to practice in France “under the same conditions as lawyers registered with a French bar ". For the court, however, this agreement aims to “allow one-off activity in France for Algerian lawyers” and not to “organize the continuation of his activities in France [to] a former French lawyer permanently removed from the register in France”.

Breach of trust

“An Algerian lawyer disbarred in France cannot have more rights than a French lawyer banned from practicing”, also estimated the court, for which Mr. Achoui, as a “professional informed of the law”, could not “be unaware that he was deliberately circumventing” his disbarment. The criminal court, in addition to the illegal exercise of the profession of lawyer, also found him guilty of breach of trust, in a case relating to a sum of approximately 10,000 euros paid by one of his clients, explained to Agence France-Presse Mr. Achoui's defender, Mr. Christian Saint-Palais.

This sum was initially intended to pay bail to free the client's brother, detained in Thailand. The deposit having ultimately not been paid, the client considered herself robbed, because the money had only been partially returned to her. Mr. Achoui, for his part, argued that the amount he had kept corresponded to his fees.