The Balkany spouses released for the dissemination of photomontages of a sexual nature

Experts could not prove that it was a set-up

The Balkany spouses released for the dissemination of photomontages of a sexual nature

Experts could not prove that it was a set-up. Patrick and Isabelle Balkany were released on Tuesday, June 6, by the Nanterre criminal court, where they appeared two months ago for having transmitted to relatives pornographic images of David-Xavier Weiss, first deputy mayor of Levallois and a former relative of the couple, who has become a political adversary.

"The proof that there was a photomontage is not sufficiently demonstrated", explained the president of the 14th chamber of the court. "This decision restores the honor of our clients, which has been unjustly smeared," welcomed Me Robin Binsard, who represents Mr. and Mrs. Balkany with Me Romain Dieudonné. "It is a disavowal for the public prosecutor who prosecuted the Balkany spouses in this case against all common sense, when everything showed that no offense could be attributed to them", he added.

During the hearing in April, the prosecution had requested a fine of 10,000 euros against the former mayor of Levallois (between 1983 and 1995 then from 2001 to 2020) and his wife, who was also his first assistant. Mr. Weiss had withdrawn his complaint, initially filed for disclosure of a document of a sexual nature and his civil party application, before the hearing.

Confusion

The confusion even extended to the procedure because, if the prosecution had decided to refer the spouses to court for the publication of a photomontage, the summons addressed to Mr. Balkany mentioned another qualification, that of "attack on the privacy of others".

Since their departure from the town hall of Levallois, in 2020, the Balkany have multiplied the criticisms - sometimes bitter - on social networks against the new municipal team. Isabelle Balkany, 75, is to be tried in July 2024 for defamatory comments made on Facebook against Mayor Agnès Pottier-Dumas.

Already indicted for "embezzlement of public property or funds by a person holding public authority", Patrick Balkany, 74, is being prosecuted in another case for "abuse of social property" and "illegal taking of 'interests'.

Sentenced for laundering tax evasion, the couple was found guilty of having concealed between 2007 and 2014 some 13 million euros in tax assets. Patrick Balkany spent several months in detention in connection with this case.